Clarke knows that the series against South Africa will be of vital importance to the entire squad
Australia captain Michael Clarke has vowed to lead Australia to the number one Test ranking ahead of the their home series against South Africa, who are the current holders of the top spot.
However, Clarke knows that even after the Test series against South Africa, Australia cannot afford to let their guard down since they will be in action for the most part of next year.
After the series against South Africa, Australia are scheduled to play Sri Lanka at home in December-January, which is followed by a four-Test tour to India in February-March before a back-to-back Ashes series first in England and then back at home.
Since the retirement of many key players, Australia have slid down the rankings, and with a new team of talented youngsters, they are on a mission to retain what was once rightfully theirs.
“I make no bones about the Australian team getting back on top, it’s a really exciting 12-15 months, as big a time that I will have in my career. I can guarantee you it certainly won’t be lack of work ethic that lets the Australian cricket team down,” Clarke said.
Clarke stated that the team’s 4-0 whitewash of India earlier this year should provide them with confidence and spur them on to reclaim the coveted number one Test spot.
“We started well against India and we are wanting to build on that, It is a really exciting time for this young side,” Clarke added.
The Ashes series against arch-rivals England was scheduled to be back-to-back for the first time next year since both cricket boards did not want the spectacle clashing with the London Olympics this summer nor with the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
But, before Australia can even start to think about the Ashes series next summer, Clarke noted that the team must first prove themselves against South Africa.
“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, England is always a tough series over there, the Ashes away and the Ashes at home, a very exciting 15 months. South Africa are as good a team as there is in the world. They are not only strong with the ball but they have a lot of batting. It is really important for us to stay focused on them and not to look too far forward,” Clarke said.