Dubai - Michael Clarke on Friday said he was
confident that Australia can regain the top spot if they play well
after slipping to fourth in the world one-day rankings for the first
time in three years.
The four-time world champions begin their
quest to regain the lead with the first-ever one-day match against
Afghanistan in Sharjah on Saturday before three one-day and as many
Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan.
Skipper Clarke, 31, said he was optimistic that they can fight back.
we left England (in July this year) we were still the number one-ranked
team in the world but because of other teams playing, we've slipped
back down to four," Clarke told a press conference.
"But to me
it's about playing really good consistent cricket all around the world
and I know we'll get back to being number one," said Clarke.
Clarke brushed off speculation that he will move up the batting order, saying he had not received any official indication.
he added: "I have made it very clear since taking over the captaincy
that I'll bat wherever is best suited for the team. In this series if me
batting three is the right option, that's what I'll do."
agreed Afghanistan had more experience of the pitch in Sharjah and said
he was relishing the prospect of playing against the minnows.
an opportunity for them to come out with nothing to lose and plenty to
gain and I think it will be good cricket," said Clarke.
said once they finish Saturday's game his team will think about
Pakistan, who are currently ranked sixth in one-day cricket.
doubt Pakistan's on my mind but our focus as a team has been on
Afghanistan. After Saturday's game we'll sit down then and look at the
"Pakistan also know the conditions well and these
are pitches where, as the game goes on, there'll probably be a little
bit more spin," he added.
All one-day matches will start at 16:00 (SA time) to avoid oppressive heat in the United Arab Emirates.
don't really know what it's going to be like starting a match at six
o'clock at night. We haven't done that before in one-day cricket. It's a
lot different," said Clarke.
"You have to ask me after the first match but it's going to be a big challenge for both the teams, also for Pakistan."