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Sun Apr 20 22:58:38 SAST 2014

Clarke unconcerned about Proteas

TEAMtalk Media | 31 July, 2012 11:400 Comments
England v Australia: 5th Natwest One Day International Series
Australia captain Michael Clarke leaves the field after being run out by Eoin Morgan of England during the 5th ODI at Old Trafford on July 10, 2012 in Manchester, England
Image by: Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Australia captain Michael Clarke says he 'doesn't care' about South Africa's performances in England, and won't be concerned about their ranking when the Proteas go to Australia for a three-test series.

The Proteas are currently leading England 1-0 in their series after winning the first test by an innings and 12 runs, and if the South Africans win the second test at Headingley then they will become the number one test team.

But Clarke isn't thinking about that yet, as they only face their fierce southern hemisphere rivals in November, and his side have a lot of other cricket to play before then, including a six-game series against Pakistan in the UAE.

A defiant Clarke said of Graeme Smith's side: "I don't really care what their team is doing to be honest.

"I care that we're doing exactly what we did against India. Our bowlers in general are taking 20 wickets and our batters are putting lots of runs on the board."

Clarke did concede that the South African bowling attack would be dangerous on the Gabba and WACA grounds, but added that his batsmen would be able to cope and his bowlers would be up to the challenge as well.

He said: "It'll be as fast as you'll face in world cricket in those conditions. Fast and bouncy. You've got to combat it, that's part of playing international cricket."

Australia have a hectic schedule in the upcoming months, with home series against the Proteas and Sri Lanka, and then a trip to India and back-to-back Ashes series.

The skipper admitted: "It's going to be tough. The Australian summer, then we go play test matches in India and then we've got Ashes away and home.

"The next 15 months don't get any harder as an international cricketer."

Clarke dismissed suggestions that his side would be outplayed in the upcoming ODIs against Pakistan, given their recent 4-0 series defeat to England.

He insisted: "We know there's areas we need to improve. They've been addressed and we'll look to improve them.

"Our goals haven't changed in regards to being number one in all three forms of the game and I guess Darwin's a good example in that we're going up there to prepare for the bi-series against Pakistan.

"It's going to be hot over in Dubai and the conditions in Darwin are as hot as we can possibly get for preparation."

The first ODI against Pakistan is on 28 August in Sharjah.

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