‘Being in South Africa’s backyard, I would imagine they will be favourites’, says Michael Clarke

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“We know we have to be at our best to have success”

Australia captain Michael Clarke has admitted that South Africa will be the favourites to win the upcoming three-Test series, which gets underway on February 12 in Centurion.

However, even though South Africa have proved to be almost unstoppable at home, Clarke believes his side can really give them a run for their money, especially after they whitewashed England 5-0 in the recently concluded Ashes series.

“Being in South Africa’s backyard, I would imagine they will be favourites,” Clarke said. “But that doesn’t bother us.

“It will be a great challenge to come to South Africa and play the No. 1 Test team in the world. We know we have to be at our best to have success.”

Clarke also conceded that this tour would seriously test his batsmen as South Africa arguably possess the best pace attack in the world, which features Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.

“I think it’s going to be a tough tour for the batsmen,” Clarke said. “You have two very good bowling attacks. I don’t know what the wickets are going to be like, but generally there is a bit in the wickets in South Africa.”

However, Clarke, with a cheeky grin, noted that he believes Australia have the best bowling attack in the world.

“I’m a little bit biased, but in my opinion, this Australian attack is the best in the world,” he said. “What I’ve seen from the Australian fast bowlers over a long period of time, I feel we have the best attack in the world.

“I have said that, statistically the South African attack is unbelievable. They love their own conditions and they have had a lot of success here. They are going to be extremely tough to face.”

Australia will only play one warm-up game prior to the Test series, however their chances to prepare for it have been curtailed by heavy rain.

“It’s about getting used to the conditions, but if we can play a similar brand of cricket to what we played in Australia, then I think we can have some success over here,” Clarke said. “It is important we get some good preparation and training in so we need this rain to disappear.”

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