Wednesday, December 6, 2023

World Cup is all that matters, not rankings: Clarke

Melbourne, Aug 31 (IANS) Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke feels all that matters is winning the World Cup and not the rankings.

Australia are currently the No.1 ranked ODI team followed by India and South Africa in the second and the third places respectively.

Clarke is not bothered even if South Africa steal the No.1 spot by winning the ongoing tri-series, that also involves Zimbabwe, in Harare next week.

The Australian captain said South Africa, who have never won the World Cup, will have to prove during the mega event slated Feb 14-March 29, co-hosted by four-time champions Australia and New Zealand, that they are really the No.1 team.

Clarke admitted that he won’t be losing any sleep if South Africa dislodge them from the No.1 rankings and said that winning World Cup is ‘be all and end all’.

“Whoever wins that tournament will be seen as the No.1 One-Day team in the world. That’s the way I’ve always looked at One-Day rankings,” Clarke was quoted as saying in the Australian media.

“I guess you love being No.1 in any form of the game but… you get a great indicator who is the No.1 team in the world in six months time playing in a World Cup. That’s what dictates it,” he added.

In their own backyard, Australia will be favourites to win the World Cup for the fifth time. They won three consecutive World Cups but faltered in 2011 edition when they lost to India in the quarter-final.

Clarke said that home support will make his side hard to beat.

“I hope so. The home support played a huge part in us having the success we did last summer. We’d love for it to be exactly the same. I think the Australian public in general like to see fighters, that’s in our blood… and that’s what this Australian team is trying to do. We hit rock bottom in India (on the 2013 Test tour) and we’ve been able to turn it around,” said Clarke.

Meanwhile, Clarke declared that he would be fit for Sunday’s ODI against Zimbabwe and will replace Steve Smith in the team. Mitchell Johnson will also sit out and his place will be taken by Mitchell Marsh.

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