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World Cup in pocket, Michael Clarke eyes no. one Test ranking

World Cup in pocket, Michael Clarke eyes no. one Test ranking
Clarke hit 74 as Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in a one-sided final in front of a record crowd of 93,013 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia bowled out the Black Caps for 183 and then galloped to victory in the 34th over to win one-day cricket’s showpiece event for the fifth time, with this World Cup triumph their first on home soil.

The 33-year-old Clarke, who announced his retirement from the one-day international format on the eve of the final, added 112 runs for the third wicket with his likely successor Steve Smith, who made an unbeaten 56 and struck the winning boundary. Australia are currently second in the ICC Test rankings, six ratings points behind South Africa. But leaving the 50-over format will give Clarke, whose career has been blighted by back and hamstring problems, an opportunity to concentrate on the five-day game.

“My next task is to try and get Australia back to the number one position in Tests. We have a busy period ahead with tours of the West Indies and then on to England for the Ashes. I hope my retirement from one-day cricket will prolong my Test career. I am only 33 and hope I have a few more years left in the game,” he told reporters after Sunday’s match.

Clarke said he had not made up his mind about playing in various Twenty20 leagues around the world due to his Test commitments. “I have not thought about playing in the T20 leagues. I just wanted to concentrate on the World Cup. Now that it is over, I will get time to think over it. But I am very excited about Test cricket. I don’t want to rush to any decisions about other things,” Clarke added. Clarke scored 7,981 runs at an average of more than 44 including eight centuries and a best of 130 in his 245 one-day internationals.
Agencies

Agencies

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