Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/4/28/clarke-eyes-test-summit

Clarke eyes Test summit

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 3:58PM AEST | by James Ranson, Sportal 6

Captain Michael Clarke hopes Australia can become the number one Test team but said his side still had a long way to go.

Clarke bagged a five-wicket haul as Australia concluded their tour of the West Indies with a 75-run win in the third and final Test in Dominica to clinch a 2-0 series victory.

Since their tour of South Africa, Australia have lost just one of nine Tests and are now up to third in the Test rankings, but Clarke insisted the number one mantle was still a distant dream.

"We as players don't consider ourselves as the number one Test team but we know that is a goal we're working to," Clarke said.

"I think we're ranked third now, so I still think we're a way off that, we need a lot of improvement to become the number one team.

"It's not just about one series or one summer, it's consistency that gets you to be the number one ranking."

Clarke pinpointed Australia's last-gasp win over South Africa in the second Test in November, one of his first tours as captain following Ricky Ponting's resignation, as the turning point leading to their recent run of results.

"To be able to pull off a win in Johannesburg, and we're talking about a very strong Test cricket team in their own backyard, so to be able to level that series was a great learning curve for us.

"I've really enjoyed it (the captaincy) I've been very lucky to have some other great leaders around me as well as wonderful support staff. The captain is only as good as his stock."

"They put me in a position to be able to take a risk or declare, and that's only because I have confidence in them."

Man-of-the-match in Dominica, Matthew Wade, described his first Test experience after replacing wicketkeeper Brad Haddin as a learning curve.

Wade had become accustomed to the unfamiliar conditions by the third Test as he smashed a game-turning 106 with Australia in trouble in their first innings at 7-169.

"Probably the all-round experience," Wade said when asked what he had gained from the tour.

"Coming over here in the one-day series and not knowing too much about these conditions and learning a lot in the first three one-dayers and then the Tests.

"Just developing my game and dealing with difficult conditions was rewarding.

"Hopefully I can continue to develop in the coming months and take that into the one-day tour in England."

Wade's form will put further pressure on Haddin despite a two-month break for Australia and Clarke was quick to explain earlier remarks that suggested he was in Haddin's corner.

"What I did say is that Wadey (Wade) has done everything in his power to put as much pressure on the selectors as possible," Clarke said.

"But what I also said was that if Brad Haddin was available for the first Test in the series he would have been selected.

"Wadey, if he continues to play like that, he'll continue to put pressure on not only the wicketkeeper spot but also a batsman position."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 28 April, 2012 11:45AM AEST

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