Clarke turns eyes to Argus review
Having seen off modest opponents in Bangladesh, new Australia captain Michael Clarke will now turn his eyes to critical planning for Australian cricket's next 12 months and the years beyond.
Clarke and a handful of team-mates returned to Australia on Friday while the majority of the squad that swept Bangladesh 3-0 remained on the subcontinent for the Indian Premier League. Questioned on arrival about the role he would play on the Don Argus-led review into the waning fortunes of the national team, Clarke agreed the next few months would be a pivotal time of consultation and discussion about new directions.
The review panel also features the former Australia captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, while Malcolm Speed and James Sutherland, the former and current Cricket Australia chiefs, will also take part.
"This is probably the important time for me to spend as much time as I can with the people who make a lot of decisions about our game, and make sure we are on the same page, have the same goals and are heading in the same direction," Clarke told reporters at Sydney Airport. "I'm excited to be home and have a bit of time off, but I'm very keen to get to Melbourne and spend some time with Cricket Australia and the selectors as well."
Australia remain top of the ICC's limited-overs rankings despite their underwhelming World Cup result, a tag Clarke believed was deserved. "The statistics say we are number one for good reason; we've won a lot of one-day games for a long period of time. In saying that, I think there's a lot of work to be done on our game to improve and keep getting better."
As for his vice-captain Shane Watson's long-awaited rise to No.1 in the ODI allrounder rankings, Clarke could hardly act surprised. "He's a wonderful player no doubt. His form over the last 12 to 18 months has been as good as anybody in the world; he's definitely a big part of our team in all forms of the game."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo