Sydney - Australia's limited-overs tour of England and Ireland represents the
start of a two-year campaign to make them the top nation in all three
forms of the game, captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday.
Australia head the one-day ratings, but are third in the Test standings and sixth in the T20 format.
been the number one ODI team in the world for a while now but we need
to continue to raise the bar," Clarke said before the one-day
international squad's departure on Thursday.
"I think our cricket of late in the shorter form hasn't been as consistent as we would like.
think once we get on the plane it's probably the start of a two-year
journey for this Australian team, whether it be the one-day team, the
Test team or the Twenty20 team, to have a lot of success and get back to
being the number one in all forms of the game."
play two English county teams and a one-day international against
Ireland before facing fourth-ranked England in five ODIs.
Clarke said he had been surprised by England batsman Kevin Pietersen's recent retirement from ODIs.
thrilled I don't have to play against him in one-day cricket because
he's such a good player and he's had a lot of success and he's a natural
in it," Clarke said.
"But England have a lot of good players in their team."
nominated David Hussey to fill the batting role of innings closer and
pacer of run-chases in the absence of his elder brother Michael, who
withdrew from the tour for family reasons following the premature birth
of his fourth child.
Clarke said he was confident that a pay
dispute between Cricket Australia and the players would be resolved this
month and said the last thing he wanted to do would be to go on strike.