‘We want to be number one in all formats’

Australia, almost unbelievably, are on the verge of being the number one ranked Test team in the world, just six months after losing the Ashes series in England.

If the Aussies avoid defeat against New Zealand in the second and final Test, starting in Christchurch on Saturday, they would go above India to the summit in Test whites.

What would make the achievement even more remarkable is that there was a raft of retirements from the longest format after the Ashes reverse, with senior players including former captain Michael Clarke, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and opening batsman Chris Rogers stepping out.

New skipper Steve Smith has not lost a Test since taking charge, his record is six wins and four draws out of 10 Tests,  and he now wants the team to get their first series victory away from home under his leadership.

Smith told reporters on Friday: "We want to be number one in the world in every format of the game and if we win this week we'll be number one in two of those formats.  

"For us we do want to win away from home as well. That's massive on my agenda and the guys' agenda and I thought we played really well in the first Test match to adapt to the conditions and I think it's going to be important for us going forward to make sure we're doing that a lot.

"For me it's satisfying [if we] get that ranking. I think that would be really good for us as a group. But when you're number one, you want to stretch that distance between the teams. For us that's making sure we play well away from home."

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