ISLAMABAD: Australia captain Michael Clarke on Wednesday said their upcoming series against Pakistan in October-November will be a big test for them.
Clarke who is focused on Australia’s forthcoming series said, “Our goal is to continue our form in the Test arena and prove we are capable of staying at the top. Our upcoming series against Pakistan (October-November) and India (November- January) will be big tests for our group,” says a press release issued here.
Australia is the number-one ranked Test side in the world. Clarke said Australia being at number one is a satisfying achievement and one of the proudest moments of his career.
Clarke believes Test cricket remained the ultimate challenge for any cricketer.
“Test cricket truly is a `test’. It requires stamina, skill, patience, fitness and the ability to adapt to different conditions and opponents. It is still the purest form of cricket and I don’t think there would be a young cricketer in this country that wouldn’t want to represent Australia and wear the Baggy Green in a Test match,” Clarke said.
Australia achieved the number-one position after the annual update of the Reliance Test Team Rankings Table on 1 May. Australia is now on 123 ratings points, level with South Africa, however, when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Michael Clarke’s side is ranked ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point.
South Africa is scheduled to play two Test matches against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in July. Should it win both Tests, then it will reclaim the top spot. Australia was the first team to be ranked number-one in Test cricket when the ICC introduced the current rankings system in 2003.
Since the system was introduced, Australia has been ranked as the number-one Test side for 74 months, more than any other side. South Africa is a distant second, having spent 23 months at the top.
According to the FTP as on June 4, the following Test series will be played in the lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 which starts in Australia and New Zealand on February 14: West Indies v New Zealand, England v Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka v South Africa, England v India, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Zimbabwe v South Africa, West Indies v Bangladesh, Pakistan v Australia, Pakistan v New Zealand, Australia v India and South Africa v West Indies.