Cricket: Michael Clarke aims for improvement from Australia

The captain says his side need to show a little more consistency and fight through bad spells to regain the sport's top ranking.

Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke says lack of consistency has been a problem for his side and that they need to battle through rough patches better than they have.
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SHARJAH // Consistency is Michael Clarke's top priority for his Australia team as they try to bounce back after slipping to their lowest position on the International Cricket Council's one-day international rankings.

The four-time world champions in the 50-over game have dropped to fourth on the ICC list following their 4-0 defeat in England two months ago.

Clarke, the Australian captain, has blamed his team's performances on the road and wants them to show more consistency and find ways of winning in alien conditions like the great Australian teams of the past.

"In Australia we have been performing really well in all forms of the game," Clarke said Sunday. "We know the conditions so well, so we manage to have a lot more success on our home turf.

"I want to see this Australian team continue our form and our momentum that we have in Australia and bring that overseas. Whether we are playing in England, in the UAE or in Sri Lanka; we want to make sure we are performing in all conditions around the world.

"That's our goal as a team: to make sure we are playing as well at home and away."

Clarke said that if Australia can perform consistently in all conditions, they will be back at the top of the rankings.

Only nine points separate the top four: England and South Africa have 121 points, India are on 120 and Australia have 112.

With Australia playing three ODIs against Pakistan in the coming weeks in the UAE, Clarke believes his team could rise up the list with a good performance here. The first ODI will be played Tuesday at Sharjah.

"If you look at the rankings, all four teams are quite close," he said. "So if we can have some success on this tour, I think the rankings will change by the time we finish here.

"[But] I am more concerned about the consistency. That's the most important thing for us as a team. We are having some really good days and then we are having some poor days. We have just got to improve those poor performances and find ways to continue to win.

"The great Australian teams that I have been a part of have found ways to win even when things don't go to plan, even when you are not playing in conditions that you feel most comfortable in. So I think this series will be a good test for us, but we are certainly looking forward to the challenge."

When Tuesday

Where Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

Who Pakistan v Australia

What First one-day international

Timings 6pm

Tickets Call 06 542 2991

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