All-rounder Rikki Clarke believes Joe Root's England can become the best-ever English side and be the No. 1 Test team in the world as well. The former England international is confident the Three Lions will back up their Chennai win with another good performance in the second Test against India.
England have now won their last six away Tests in a row. They are also unbeaten in their last 11 Tests under Joe Root.
In a chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Live, Rikki Clarke compared the current team to Andrew Strauss' side who were No. 1 in the world at one point. The 39-year-old said:
"Potentially (on being asked whether Joe Root's England team is the best-ever). If you go back a few years, under Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, they got to No. 1. They had a fantastic team. Went to Australia and won the Ashes. I believe this side can emulate that, and can also be up there and be No. 1 in the world. The way they started in the first Test match in Chennai is fantastic. Can they back it up now? I don't see a reason why they can't," Clarke said.
England jumped to the top of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) table following their win over India. Joe Root's men have to be relentless as they need to win two of their next three Test matches to book a place in the WTC final.
Rikki Clarke believes England will win the Ashes anywhere
Rikki Clarke also opined that the current England team could win the Ashes in any condition as they have all their bases covered.
'It will be closer if it's in Australia. I think England will win in England. If I had to say flat out, in both conditions, who would win, then I would say England. They tick all the boxes, they have got an incredible batting line-up as we saw them put up a big score in the first Test in Chennai. They can bat and do well in all conditions. They can cope with quicker wickets in Australia," Clarke said.
The Surrey all-rounder also praised England for the variation they have in their bowling attack.
'They've got a very adaptable and mixed bowling attack - Archer with pace, Broad with height and skill, Anderson with his skill, swing and reverse swing. We have spin options. So we are covering all bases so I would say England. The way they are playing, they could potentially win the Ashes anywhere," Clarke added.
England will travel Down Under for a five-match Test series later this year in November. Before that, the English team would be keen to book its place in the WTC final, which will be played at the Lord's in June. New Zealand have already sealed their place in the final.