Clarke urges Aussies to raise their game

Australian captain Michael Clarke has told his team that their world rankings are ‘unacceptable’ as he worked to fire them up ahead of upcoming matches against Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Australian team face Afghanistan in a single one-dayer in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday before three matches against Pakistan and a Twenty20 series.

Speaking ahead of his departure, Clarke said the players need to improve significantly on their 4-0 humbling by England in their last one-day series.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get some of that consistency back in the one-day format,” he said on the Cricket Australia website. “We didn’t play anywhere near as well as we would’ve liked to in England.

“We learned a lot and it was nice for some of the guys who hadn’t experienced those conditions to get over and do that, but we certainly didn’t get the results we were after.

“So I think it’s a good opportunity to turn that around.”

Australia are taking an experienced squad to the UAE, which will be followed by the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, and they have plenty to prove, having slipped down the rankings in all forms of the game.

Earlier this month they lost the top spot on the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings for the first time in nearly three years.

Going into the UAE series, Australia sit behind England, South Africa and India while things are even worse on the T20 ladder, with Australia on ninth, below New Zealand and minnows Bangladesh. They are third in the Test stakes, adrift of South Africa and England. “It’s not about what you say now, it’s about what we do as a team,” Clarke said.

Comments (+)