Michael Clarke says Australia are on their way to the top

Michael Clarke said his side needs to be more consistent Getty Images

Adelaide: Jan 28, 2012

Australia captain Michael Clarke says his team has a lot of ground to cover for regaining the number one spot in Tests and its 4-0 thumping of India is a step on the way to the top.

Despite the resounding victory, Australia are slightly behind India at the fourth spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

“Are we the leader of the pack? I don’t think we are,” Clarke told reporters after Australia crushed India by 298 runs in the fourth Test.

“Right now we are not the No.1 Test team, so we will continue to try to become better every single day. We will continue like we have done in my whole career, to look at other teams and see their strengths and weaknesses, and see where we can improve.

“We are playing really well as a group, but we have a lot of work still to do.”

Australia drew with South Africa and New Zealand before the India series and an air of inconsistency plagued the team. Looking ahead at the One-day series beginning Feb 5, Clarke said maintaining consistency will be the main aim.

“The consistency has been an area that we have had to work on as a team,” Clarke said.

“The loss in South Africa and the loss against New Zealand is something that I guess every player in that change room has had in the front of their minds. That has probably been a bit of an inspiration to make sure when we feel like things are going well to keep pushing forward, to make the most of the momentum that we have been able to gather,” Clarke said.

“I hate to say it but I think you need that throughout your career. You need to go through a few tough times individually and as a team, to realise how hard Test cricket is. And then how special it is when you have days like today and a series like this. We are currently ranked fourth so we have got a hell of a lot of work to do.”

Clarke’s performance too was phenomenal in the series, getting him the man of the series award. He amassed 626 runs at an average of 125.20, crossing the 500-run mark in a series for the first time in his career. His stellar show included an epic 329 not out in the Sydney Test and a double century here at the Adelaide Oval.

“It was a big series for me, the main reason being that I didn’t perform in the Ashes last summer,” Clarke said. “I have said since taking over the captaincy, that I wanted to lead from the front on the field and make sure I was scoring runs and it is very pleasing to have achieved that this.” (IANS)