Clarke backs Oz to hit back
Michael Clarke (Getty Images)
London - Michael Clarke has warned England that Australia will be a much tougher proposition in the forthcoming one-day international series.
Clarke's team slumped to a dismal 3-0 defeat in the recent Ashes series in England, but they have a chance to gain some revenge in five one-day internationals, the first of which gets under way at Headingley on Friday.
And the Australian batsman is convinced his team's high one-day international ranking, which contrasts sharply with their lowly Test placing, is an accurate reflection of their ability to dominant in the limited overs format.
"I think we're ranked second in one-day cricket and in Test matches we are fifth so there's a big difference," Clarke said.
"We've got a lot of young players coming through our one-day system but in both forms of the game, we haven't been as consistent as we would like.
"I think in patches we've played really well, and generally at home in our conditions pretty well.
"But we need to perform when we're away from home, and our most recent trips to the UK have not been successful. Let's hope we can turn that around."
An one-day international series victory would ease any perceived pressure on Clarke's captaincy before they have to face England on home soil in the Ashes rematch at the end of November.
But he insists he is just focused on finishing the tour of England on a high note.
"When you're captain, you're accountable - especially when you're not performing well and your team is losing," Clarke said.
"I understand that. But me wanting to win this series has nothing to do with my captaincy.
"It's about this team, where we're at and trying to move forward and improve in the one-day format and get back to being number one in the world.
"That's why it's important we win this series.
"We want to get back to the top of the tree in the one-day format and perform here.
"We will be doing everything we can to have some success in these five one-dayers.
"I want to see this one-day team get back to where it belongs, at the top of the tree, and we are going to do everything we can to play our full-strength team."
As for his own future, at the age of 32 Clarke does not see his chronic susceptibility to back ailments as any obstacle to a long career in both Tests and one-day internationals.
"I think it's obviously manageable," he said.
"I feel as fit and as strong as I've been throughout my career, so I don't see any reason why I can't continue to manage it and play for a lot longer in both forms of the game.
"I love one-day cricket, and Test cricket as well.
"I'm enjoying being a part of both teams and leading both teams."