Sydney, May 26 (ANI): Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that the time has come to make their Ashes dream a reality, adding that the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy will be part of an ideal lead in for the Ashes.
Insisting that they have set their own high standards in pursuit of the Ashes, Clarke said that for Australian cricketers, nothing is bigger than an Ashes tour, adding that for many of their young players, it will be their first experience of Test matches in England, News.com.au reports.
According to Clarke, the anticipation for the five-Test series has built up during the past month as they trained with white balls for the Champions Trophy and English Dukes for the Ashes.
Stating that winning the Champions Trophy will enable them to carry that momentum into the Ashes as success breeds success, Clarke said that he is looking forward to playing against England at Edgbaston on June 8 in the eight-nation tournament, adding that it will provide them an early look at their Test opponents.
Clarke further said that he has a good feeling about the Champions Trophy having won the last two, adding that this tournament is extra special because it is the last Champions Trophy, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) introducing a four-yearly World Test Championship from 2017.
According to the Australian skipper, although it may be easy to dismiss the Champions Trophy match against England in context of the Ashes, he would rather beat England than lose to them, adding that a player gets confidence if he is making a good performance in a game, no matter what the format is.
Clarke also dismissed fears of being upstaged by England in terms of preparation, saying that his team will have plenty of time to prepare even though England may already be underway with their international season, playing a Test series against New Zealand.
Expressing his pleasure that many of his players have come back from injuries fit and fine in time for a heavy workload, Clarke said that high standards set by their coaching and fitness staff have been met, adding that Cricket Australia's high performance manager Pat Howard also deserved credit for some very good forward planning.(ANI)