The Aussie skipper admits the Test side needs to improve quickly to compete with England.
After the announcement of Australia’s 16-man Ashes squad, captain Michael Clarke admits the side needs to put in a lot of work to challenge England for the urn.
The squad was as expected for the Australians, with Brad Haddin replacing Shane Watson as vice-captain after Watson’s resignation and only one uncapped player named – James Faulkner.
There appears to be a gulf in class between the Aussies and England as Clarke’s side are on the back of a heavy 4-0 whitewash in India; a place the Three Lions won just last year.
The skipper is under no delusions that with just 12 weeks to go until the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on 11 July, the team need to turn their form around quickly.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Clarke was quoted on Sky Sports.
“They’re a very strong team playing in their own backyard where they’re even stronger – there’s no doubt about that.”
However, the captain does believe that with the squad Australia have they have the right mix of experience, youth and raw talent to take something from the series.
Yet some argue that this is the weakest squad that the Aussies have ever brought to England, with the national side experiencing a hangover after the retirement of veterans Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey in recent months.
Clarke himself is the only man in the squad to show any real Test pedigree to date, although they do boast some precocious talent in the likes of bowlers Mitch Starc and Faulkner.