Clarke ready to rebuild
Aussie fightback begins in Sri Lanka says new skipper
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 24/07/11 2:23pm
Clarke: looking forward to leading Australia into a new age
Australia's campaign to regain their status as the world's top side starts next month in Sri Lanka according to skipper Michael Clarke.
Australia will play five one-dayers, a three-Test series and two Twenty20 internationals in the country, beginning with the first ODI in Kandy on August 6.
After remaining the dominant force for so long, Australia have undergone a difficult period since their slide down the rankings.
The one time colossus of international cricket now lie fifth in the Test rankings, having lost six of their last eight Tests and suffered two series defeats at the hands of England and India.
But now that the soul searching has been done and the painful questions asked, Clarke insists that the time has come to begin the rebuilding process.
And the 30-year-old batsman, who replaced Ricky Ponting as Test skipper in March, says he is looking forward to the challenge of leading his country into a new cricketing age.
"I certainly don't see any reason why we can't improve and I think we need to start in Sri Lanka. We know we need to do a lot of work. Every day we get out of bed our goal is to try and get better and we've started that."
Michael Clarke Quotes of the week
"I've really enjoyed the last couple of months," he said. "To be able to help, with the support of Cricket Australia and our coach Tim Nielsen, to try and set up some strategies and plans for our future.
"I've always said we've got a lot of talent in the Australian squad and we continually see that in domestic cricket in Australia.
"I certainly don't see any reason why we can't improve and I think we need to start in Sri Lanka.
"We know we need to do a lot of work. Every day we get out of bed our goal is to try and get better and we've started that.
"We've had a couple of camps up in Brisbane at the Centre of Excellence that have been fantastic, we know it's just the start, but we're looking forward to what lies ahead."
Australia travel to South Africa following the Sri Lanka tour, before heading home where they will entertain New Zealand and India during their summer.