Australia captain Michael Clarke has set his sights high ahead of a gruelling year of test cricket for his side. "I make no bones about the Australian team getting back on top," Clarke said, with his team currently lying in third in the test rankings.
Clarke, who took over from Ricky Ponting as the Australian test captain in early 2011, faces a tough challenge in trying to revive the glory years of the early 2000’s and go into the upcoming series with South Africa as underdogs.
But Clarke feels that their recent home demolition of India should stand his young test side in good stead. "We started well against India and we are wanting to build on that," Clarke said. "It is a really exciting time for this young side."
Where in the past the Australian side could rely on stand out individual performances from the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, Clarke knows that his side will need to work together to get back to the top of the test rankings and he is confident that his team have the determination to succeed. "I can guarantee you it certainly won't be lack of work ethic that lets the Australian cricket team down" Clarke said.
Australia are currently behind South Africa and England in the test rankings and they will face both of these sides in the next year. Clarke knows that these series could define his time as captain of his country so he is keen to ensure that his team take care of the Proteas before worrying about the Ashes; "It's a really exciting 12-15 months, as big a time that I will have in my career” Clarke said.
"We have some really tough opposition in South Africa, the number one side in Test cricket, coming to Australia very soon and our main focus is on that," he added.
Australia’s first Test against South Africa begins in Brisbane on 9th November and if Michael Clarke can inspire his side to defy the cricket betting odds, then they could well take their first step towards regaining top spot.