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India is not the best team in the world, says Michael Clarke

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August 17 (Agencies)

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke says India is not the best team in the world despite being ranked as the number one side by ICC in the five-day game.

But Clarke believes India can become the best team in the world if they can win in South Africa, Australia and England.

Virat Kohli’s team is in magnificent form as they completed a 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka recently. The Indian team also won their Test battles at home against South Africa, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.

But Clarke believes India will face the real challenge in foreign conditions.

In an interview with NDTV, the 2015 World Cup-winning Australian captain said if India managed to register Test series wins in South Africa, England and Australia, nobody would question their right to be called the best team.

India have never won a Test series in South Africa and Australia. They did win in England, but suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat in their last series on English soil in 2014.

“The Indian team right now is full of confidence. And if India can beat South Africa, Australia and England in away conditions, there will be no doubt that India is the number one team in the world,” Clarke told NDTV.

Clarke also revealed his thoughts on former teammate Mike Hussey’s comments that Kohli’s captaincy style is similar to Ricky Ponting’s.

“I have never played under Virat so cannot compare them. However, Virat would not want to be compared to anybody. He has his own style,” Clarke said.

Clarke, who had to retire at the age of 34 due to a chronic back problem, felt Steve Smith’s Australian team will face a tough test in India in the forthcoming limited overs series.

“This tour will be a great challenge for Australia as India, at the moment, are playing very well,” Clarke said. “Obviously the Australian supporters expect their team to be best in the world. But, India are ticking all the right boxes under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. He wants to win and doesn’t want to take a step back. He knows how tough the next four months of cricket are. He is preparing his team for that.”

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