Sydney, Jun 14: Australian captain Michael Clarke said his team is aiming to be number one in all three formats of the game in two years time. And the tour of Ireland and England will be the beginning of that 24-month journey.
Clarke, who along with his team-mates, left Australia on Thursday for the United Kingdom. They will play one ODI against Ireland and later be involved in a five-match 50-over rubber with old foes England.
Australia, on Wednesday, received the ODI Shield from ICC for being the number one team. However, they have slipped to third in Test rankings and are sixth in Twenty20 Internatinals.
"We've been the number one ODI team in the world for a while now but we need to continue to raise the bar. I think our cricket of late in the shorter form hasn't been as consistent as we would like.
"I think once we get on the plane it's probably the start of a two-year journey for this Australian team, whether it be the one-day team, the Test team or the Twenty20 team, to have a lot of success and get back to being the number one in all forms of the game," said Clarke.
The Australian skipper was "thrilled" that he need play against Kevin Pietersen as the English batsman announced his retirement from ODIs.
"I'm thrilled I don't have to play against him in one-day cricket because he's such a good player and he's had a lot of success and he's a natural in it," Clarke said.
"But England have a lot of good players in their team."
Australia begin their UK campaign with a match against county side Leicestershire on June 21. Their only ODI against Ireland will be held on June 23 in Belfast. The five-match ODI series against England will begin on June 29 at Lord's.