Australia focus on task in hand
June 21, 2012 15:59:39 UK
Australia will push thoughts of the Ashes to the back of their minds when they begin their one-day series against England, says captain Michael Clarke.
The Australians play five one-dayers against their old rivals, 12 months before returning to contest the Ashes.
"I think it's really important for us not to get too carried away with the Ashes," Clarke said. "The reality is if we don't perform as players and as a team now, you don't even worry about the Ashes because you're not on that trip.
"Because it is the pinnacle as a Test cricketer, it's in the back of your mind, but we've got a lot of cricket in front of us that we need to make sure we're performing in individually and as a team before we even worry about the Ashes."
The Australian squad includes five players who have never played international cricket in England before - David Warner, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Peter Forrest.
"We're a little bit of a changing one-day side and we need to get as much as experience and opportunity into some of our younger players as we possibly can," Arthur said.
"I'd rather see them getting some real good opportunities in conditions out here in England, which will broaden their games."
Arthur challenged the new generation to step up in the absence of former skipper Ricky Ponting, who was dropped from the one-day team following a run of poor performances in February.
"It changes the dynamic quite a bit and that's why we're looking for other players to stand up and take over that responsibility," Arthur added. "This gives the guys out here a real opportunity to stake their claims, make their mark and show us they belong.
"I'm looking forward to seeing who actually stands up and takes this opportunity."
Australia are 1213.00 to win the Twenty20 World Cup.
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