Bangalore: Michael Clarke, the Australian captain, has acknowledged the role being played by Shane Warne as Australia seek to gather information ahead of next year's Ashes campaign in England.
"Warne's knowledge of the game is unrivalled," said Clarke, who analysed defeats in the first two One-Day Internationals against England with Warne, the legspinner who is Test cricket's second highest wicket-taker.
Australia trail the five-match series 0-2, and must win at Edgbaston on Wednesday to stay alive in the series. A 5-0 sweep for England will push them to the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings too, and make them the first team to be ranked No. 1 in all three formats of the game.
"I've been learning a lot from Warne about England since he captained Hampshire," said Clarke of his interactions with his closest friend on the cricketing circuit. "Tactically, he is as good as anyone I have played with. I am very lucky for his help and guidance. He will always give me honesty."
Warne is currently in England as a television commentator, and Clarke is determined to use his mentor's expertise and experience as Australia attempt to regain the No. 1 ranking in Test cricket.
"I talk to Warne daily about life, about captaincy," Clarke said, speaking on behalf of Cricket Australia's apparel sponsors. "He rings me, I ring him. If I have a sticky problem with a Test or a one-dayer, I ring him overnight to help me find a solution.
"The key for me is that he knows English conditions and players so well. He gets as close to England's best players as anyone in his role as a commentator. This is useful both for this series and the Ashes," Clarke, the right-hand batsman, said. "England are the No. 1 Test team in the world. They deserve a lot of credit. They will be very difficult to beat in the Ashes. They are very good in their own country and it's my job to find out as much about them as possible."