Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 5th day January 28, 2012

'Shown the world we're on the way up' - Clarke


Australia's completion of a 4-0 hiding of India at Adelaide Oval was a triumph without triumphalism. The hosts' captain Michael Clarke said his side was far from "the leader of the pack" after rounding up the visiting tail on the final morning, and he expressed the desire to keep learning from other nations and their methods as his team maintained its climb up the ICC rankings.

Empirically Australia are still ranked behind India, albeit by the barest of margins. Practically they are playing cricket as staunch as any team in the world, but have only just learned how to do it consistently. It cannot be forgotten that Clarke's last Test before the India series began was a loss to New Zealand, the first since 1993.

"Are we the leader of the pack? I don't think we are," Clarke said. "Right now we're not the No.1 Test team in the world, so it's about us trying to become better every single day. We will continue like we have done my whole career to look at other teams and see their strengths and weaknesses, and see where we can improve.

"That's been no different my whole career, whether we've been the No. 1 team in the world or sitting in the No.4 spot. We're playing really well as a group, but we have a lot of work still to do, to achieve what we want to achieve."

Beyond Adelaide lies Twenty20 matches and ODIs against India and Sri Lanka, before a tour of the West Indies. There will be an ODI taster against England in mid-year, then the World Twenty20 before Test battles resume against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Clarke said a consistently high level of performance remained the salient goal of his team.

"The consistency has been an area that we've had to work on as a team," Clarke said. "The loss in South Africa and the loss against New Zealand is something that I guess every player in that change room has had in the front of their minds. That has probably been a bit of an inspiration to make sure when we feel like things are going well to keep pushing forward, to make the most of the momentum that we've been able to have.

"I hate to say it but I think you need that throughout your career. You need to go through a few tough times individually and as a team to realise how hard it is Test cricket but then how special it when you have days like today and a series like this. We're currently ranked fourth in the world so we've got a hell of a lot of work to do to get back to where I'd love to see this team going.

"We've shown a lot of people around the world that w'e're on the way up. We're getting there. We're betting better every day."

Clarke's own performance was a large part of Australia's victory. His aggregate of 626 runs at 125.20 represent a new high-water mark for Clarke in a series - he had never topped 500 in a series previously. Its centrepiece was a monumental 329 not out in Sydney.

"It was a big series for me for the main reason that I didn't perform [in the Ashes] last summer," Clarke said. "I have said since taking over the captaincy that I wanted to lead from the front on the field and make sure I was scoring runs and it's very pleasing to have achieved that this Test series.

"I think I have learnt a lot along the way over the last four Test matches, I think I will continue to learn. It obviously helps when you have got some very good players around you, it makes my job a lot easier. Fortunately we have got some good rewards."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • B on January 30, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Wow, so many bad losers in the comments here! Refusal to acknowledge an opponent's good performance is classic poor sportsmanship. Insistence that the result was dictated by home advantage is arrogance - a charge regularly and unfairly laid on the Australians - along with a good measure of wishful thinking. Thankfully, such self-delusion was finally expelled from the Australian camp after a string of embarrassing defeats, and we are now on the up. Good luck dealing with it in your turn, India.

  • hayden on January 30, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    i love these negative comments by these indians in denial. i just watched your team for 5 days in adelaide, not only is age a factor but the sheer egos of every player in the indian camp is astounding!!!! complete arrogance. think they are superstars (even the players who have just started their international careers), but play like amatures!!! too important to be troubled signing autographs for 10 year old fans, to grant the media an interview! even fielding, tendulker is the only player that can claim to be switched on in the field at all! the rest act like fielding the ball is beneith them!!! aussie arrogance used to be discussed all the time on this site, let me tell you thats nothing compared to the problems this indian side has. egos need deflaiting badly and reality checks all round!!! they seem so sure they will still win at home, i cant see how with preformances like that??? aus has never played as badly in india as india have out here!!! pathetic!!!

  • Andrew on January 30, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @ suko99 - everything that is wrong with Indian cricket! LOL!

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    *Insert comment about Australia winning at home here*

  • Rohan on January 29, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Well done Australia, a great victory against an opponent not only ranked higher and expected to beat us, but according to their fans, who of course are now saying the result meant little, India were supposed to trounce us!! Disgraceful sour grapes. And to those people with short memories, Australia actually just played in the subcontinent, beating Sri Lanka at home, on turning wickets no less. Oh, and drew with a full strength South Africa in South Africa after being in a winning position in the first test. Not bad for a pretty average side eh Cpt.Meanster? Australia do not claim to be no.1, in fact Clarke acknowledged how far we have to go. We are merely up and coming. It is those teams who claim superiority over us that will have plenty to prove in the next couple of years. Not that India need to worry about that anymore with their weak side!

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Clarke's right, the Australians have a long way to go to get to number 1. The bowling is looking excellent at the moment. None are exceptional strike bowlers (much like each of the english bowlers) but all seem to bowl disciplined line and length and bowl in partnerships. The batting is far from stable at the moment, but with the inclusion of Watson (our best player of the last 18months) into the top order at the expense of marsh, we look a little bit better. Remember, England beat a lower strength Indian team 4-0 not long ago, so we're on our way to returning to a top ranked side. Also, India need to hang their heads in shame. You're never going to be taken seriously as a cricketing nation if you can't even try to win a test overseas. It was a pretty piss poor effort

  • Rajaram on January 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    We certainly are on the way up, and I like the determination of Michael Clarke. He means business. From the ongoing series being played in UAE, it is clear tyhat England batsmen cannot play spin.Keeping this in mind, and the fact that we would regularly pick 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers,the composition of which will be 6 pure batsmen,1 batting all rounder Shane Watson who can bowl accurate medium pace, 1 specialist batsman cum part time spinner Michael Clarke,3 quicks, 1 full -fledged spinner, Nathan Lyon,we need the pure batsman Dave Warner to develop his leg spin. Remember the earlier days? Ashley Mallett - off spin, Terry Jenner - leg spin?Or at the SCG - Shane Warne and Stuart Macgill?

  • Nick on January 29, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Can Australia beat South Africa? Of course they can! People are either over-pessimistic or over-optimistic about this team. But don't forget the question marks for the other Can South Africa beat a SETTLED Australian unit in Australia on the rise? They couldn't beat an unsettled Australian unit in South Africa and should have lost 2-0 had Australia not thrown away a dominant position with a terrible 2nd innings of the first test. South Africa are better than England. England are very good but have just been hammered and need a number 6 and possibly a replacement for Strauss. When Watson returns, Australia only need to find one more batsman to fill the number 3 slot. The problem is batting depth outside the team, but the first XI is a pretty good Warner (ave 52.37), Ponting (53.44), Clarke (49.65), Hussey (50.82). Add a solid Watson and the team only needs one more batsman and a keeper (ie. Wade). Bowling looks very good with strong reserves.

  • Andross on January 29, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    @Sawifan - A voice of reason in the darkness, I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for the fact that given how bad that session in SA was, AUS DESERVED to lose that match. Well done Clark, I've always admired his batting, but was a bit sceptical of him as a captain, but he has demonstrated inspired bowling & fielding changes this season, & I hope he keeps it up. Australia's just got to sort out the batting, Marsh out for sure, I'd say even if he does perform in the Shield, Watson hopefully should come back (Which should also further strengthen the bowling), and Cowan and Warner need to work at increasing their 1st wicket average during the WI series. Sort that out, and Aus have a reasonable chance in ENG -- particularly if they take four spinners XD

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    *Insert comment about India winning at home here*

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