Paul Collingwood is impressed with Michael Clarke for keeping his batting intact from pressure of captaincy.
Sydney: Paul Collingwood is impressed with Michael Clarke for keeping his batting intact from pressure of captaincy but is not threatened by Australia's resurgence and challenged to test them in the next Ashes series.
England had defeated Australia 3-1 in the away Ashes series this year and then after thrashing India at home they ascended to the top of the ranking table.
After retirement of several key players such as Glen McGrath, Shane Warne and Matthew Hayden, Australia are in the process of re-building the team.
The young Australian side has dominated the star-studded India so far in the four-match series but Collingwood says only the next Ashes will tell where Australia stand.
"The captaincy tends to suffocate many players but that doesn't seem to have happened with Michael Clarke," the former England captain said in praise of the Australian skipper, who smashed an unbeaten 329 in Sydney Test on Thursday.
"It's an unbelievable effort to get more than 300. It's very hard to know where teams are at. India in India are a very different proposition than away from home and we'll only find out at the next Ashes how far teams have come," Collingwood said.
The next Ashes series will be played in England in 2013.