South Africa series the perfect pick-me-up for ailing Australia
A disappointed Michael Clarke arrived home from United Arab Emirates on Wednesday eager to shake off Australia`s test series loss to Pakistan and begin his side`s World Cup buildup in a one-day series against South Africa.
Sydney: A disappointed Michael Clarke arrived home from United Arab Emirates on Wednesday eager to shake off Australia`s test series loss to Pakistan and begin his side`s World Cup buildup in a one-day series against South Africa.
Clarke`s side were hammered by Pakistan in the two-test series, losing the first game in Dubai by 221 runs and second in Abu Dhabi by 356 runs for a first series loss to Pakistan in two decades.
The 33-year-old captain also struggled with the bat -- 57 runs in four innings -- but he was keen to refocus his attentions to the five match series against the Proteas, who are the top-ranked one-day side in the world.
"I`m extremely disappointed with our results," Clarke told reporters at Sydney airport. "I`m more disappointed with my personal performances.
"But we have had a couple of days to think about things and in a week`s time we have a really important one day series against South Africa.
"I guess I see that as a positive with the quick turnaround. We`re back on the field. I know it`s a different format but in Australian cricket, winning is what`s important."
Clarke, Australia`s best batsman for the last three years, was somewhat taken aback at having to field a question over whether his captaincy was in jeopardy.
"I think my performances over the past five years have been pretty consistent and I think my captaincy`s been pretty consistent over that period as well," he said.
"So hopefully I`m not judged just on two test matches."
The series against South Africa is the beginning of Australia`s final warm-ups before they seek a fifth one-day World Cup title in the Feb. 14-March 29 tournament they co-host with New Zealand.
"The one day series against South Africa is huge for me. They`re the top one-day side in the world," he said.
"The World Cup is not far away so the one-day guys are very focused on building momentum in every series we play in.
"If anything it gives you more hunger if you fail (so)... I`ll be at the physio this afternoon. I`ll be training tomorrow morning. I`m keen to make some runs."