Clarke: Oz have long way to go

2014-03-07 15:32

Sydney - Michael Clarke says Australia have a long way to go before supplanting South Africa as the No 1 Test cricket team.

Clarke returned home on Friday after leading the Australians to an epic 2-1 series win over the Proteas in South Africa to cement their status as the second team in world cricket behind South Africa.

Clarke said despite their supremacy over South Africa in the recent series, his side would be foolish to consider themselves the best team in Test cricket and said the job was far from done.

If Australia defeat Pakistan and India in Test series later this year, they could be the ICC's top-ranked side.

"I think South Africa have well and truly earned that mantle and that doesn't come lightly," Clarke told reporters at Sydney Airport.

"You've got to have success over a long period of time and they've (the Proteas) done that.

"We're playing some really good cricket and I think we're improving as a team but there's a long way to go before we will consider ourselves the number one team in the world."

Clarke predicted that Australia would take home their first World Twenty20 crown in Bangladesh in March-April.

Australia have never won the short form tournament, but Clarke is confident they can carry on from the Test series wins over England and South Africa and take the world T20 title.

"I think they can. I think they'll be led extremely well by George Bailey. He's captained the Twenty20 team exceptionally well for a while now," he said.

"I think the confidence the Test players will take out of this series and bring into the Twenty20 team will certainly help as well. So I'm backing the boys. I'm really confident they'll win the Twenty20 World Cup."

Demon paceman Mitchell Johnson will be rested from Australia's three-match T20 series against South Africa, starting on Sunday in Port Elizabeth.

Johnson will link up with the national T20 squad next week in Bangladesh for the World Twenty20, having been given extra time to rest after a long summer of success.

The left-armer claimed 22 wickets at an average of 17.36 in the three-Test series with the Proteas, which followed his 37 English scalps at 13.97 to be man of the Ashes series.


  • Dwain Trollip - 2014-03-07 16:14

    Congrats australia you beat us fair and square.having said that,they seem to be falling in the same trap they did when they were at their best-32+ year olds doing the 2 years time clarke,haddin,harris,johnson,rogers and watson will be too old or to injury prone to maintain this high level of performance and their batting stocks look slim.they will rebuild again very that way its a blessing in disguise that smith and kallis retired,because now we can groom our next stars already and be able to maintain our consistency at the same time.

      Luvuyo Ntitsolo - 2014-03-07 16:40

      This Ausies side (T20 & ODI) is scary the attacking power they possess will make it almost impossible to beat them.. That said thou I think Smith could have still played for 2 more years. I understand and agree with you about grooming young talent but I think it should be done at Franchise level not at international stages, I would appreciate these young players more if they maintained 2years of good performances and get experience before we even think about giving them a chance at test or ODI level

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