31 Mar 2011

Clarke looking to take Australia back to the top

6:52 am on 31 March 2011

Michael Clarke is confident he can lead Australia back to the top of world cricket and has no doubt he can work alongside former skipper Ricky Ponting.

Groomed for years, Clarke has officially stepped into the Australian captaincy hot-seat at a critical time for the sport.

When he fought his way into the national scene as a brash, blond youngster in 2003, Clarke joined a side that was the undisputed king of the cricketing world.

But the team he inherits now is one on the slide, having slipped to number 5 in the Test rankings and losing at the quarter-final stage of this year's World Cup following 3 straight tournament wins.

He also has to work in Ponting's shadow, with the former skipper standing down on Tuesday but declaring his intention to play on as a specialist batsman.

But Clarke, who will have all-rounder Shane Watson as his new deputy, is confident it can all mesh together into a successful product.

Clarke takes the one day side to bangladesh next week, while his first Test series as captain will be in Sri Lanka in August.