x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Clarke warns Australia ranking place is 'unacceptable' ahead of UAE tour

Australia will face Afghanistan in Sharjah on Saturday - before facing Pakistan as a prelude to their World Twenty20 assault.

The series for Michael Clarke and Australia was determined three years ago, the venue was not.
The series for Michael Clarke and Australia was determined three years ago, the venue was not.

SYDNEY // Australia will use their Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the UAE as a springboard for the forthcoming World Twenty20 competition - and to improve their 'unacceptable' ranking position.

The Australians sit ninth in the T20 rankings, and coach Mickey Arthur will miss the opening games of their tour of the Emirates to focus on preparing for the competition in Sri Lanka.

The team has also slipped in the test and one-day listings, and skipper Michael Clarke warned his players the told his team their world rankings are "unacceptable".

"It's not about what you say now, it's about what we do as a team," he told Cricket Australia's website.

"It's now up to us, as individual players and as a team, to do something about it.

"To realise that we sit fourth in the one-day rankings, we sit third in the Test rankings and I think we sit eighth or ninth in the Twenty20 rankings.

"Every player knows that's unacceptable for an Australian team."

Clarke and the Australian team face emerging cricketing nation Afghanistan in a single one-dayer in Sharjah on Saturday before three matches and a Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

"Yes, we've got these four one-dayers which are crucial to the one-day set-up," said Clarke.

"But the bigger picture for the T20 boys is the Twenty20 World Cup and Mickey wants to make sure there's no stone left unturned to win that tournament."

Speaking ahead of the tour, Clarke said the players need to improve significantly on their 4-0 humbling by England in their last one-day series.

"I think it's a good opportunity for us to get some of that consistency back in the one-day format," he said.

"We didn't play anywhere near as well as we would've liked in England.

"We learned a lot and it was nice for some of the guys who hadn't experienced those conditions to get over and do that, but we certainly didn't get the results we were after.

"So I think it's a good opportunity to turn that around."


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