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“We’ve got to play our best to stay at No.2, let alone get to No.1”
Australia captain Michael Clarke has announced that he wants the baggy greens to go back to being the number one ODI side and plans to start putting that into action during the national team’s five-match series against England.
Australia are currently second on the ODI rankings and have a chance of dethroning India as the top-ranked ODI side if they beat England 4-1, which would mean that New Zealand would have to defeat India, or 5-0, which would mean that India can win no more than three of their five ODIs against New Zealand.
“They’re two different teams,” Clarke said. “But for the guys who do play Test cricket, it’s quite easy to take your foot off the pedal.
“I said before the last two Test matches that we as a Test team had a lot to play for because we were ranked fifth at the time and we want to get back to No.1. I say the same about this one-day unit. We know we are not the No.1 team in the world at this stage. That is our goal.
“If you want to be a part of this team, you cannot afford to take your foot off the pedal. We as a team have no complacency where you’re sitting there expecting that because the result was five-nil in the Test series that the one-day result will be the same. We know England have a very good one-day team … we currently sit second in the rankings and only just, England are one point behind us, so we’ve got to play our best to stay at No.2, let alone get to No.1.”
Clarke admitted that he was feeling “good at the moment” and is looking forward to handing England yet another loss after the baggy greens whitewashed them 5-0 in the recently concluded Ashes series.
“I feel good at the moment,” Clarke said. “That will be decided by the people well and truly above me.
“If they think I should miss a game then I’ll have that conversation with Boof [Lehmann] and the selectors. But right now I’m really keen to help this team win this one-day series.
“Winning the Test in three days gave everyone a couple of extra days off which is nice. But I missed the recent one-day series in India. I played in England and enjoyed the one-day series. It’s going to be nice to be back out there and playing some one-day stuff.”
Clarke also conceded that he was quite surprised the national selectors had decided against picking pace bowler James Pattinson for the first ODI against England, which gets underway tomorrow in Melbourne.
“I don’t know why they decided to not pick him in the first eleven,” Clarke said. “That’s their call. But I think James certainly is realistic and understands that he’s only been back bowling for a couple of weeks in regards to game practice. He’s a wonderful talent. Everybody in Australia loves seeing him bowl well. He’s looking fit and I’m sure he’ll play a big part throughout this series.”