Michael Clarke is confident he can lead Australia back to the top of world cricket and has no doubt he can work alongside former skipper Ricky Ponting.

Groomed for years, Clarke has officially stepped into the Australian captaincy hot-seat at a critical time for the sport.

When he fought his way into the national scene as a brash, blond youngster in 2003, Clarke joined a side that was the undisputed king of the cricketing world.

But the team he inherits now is one on the slide, having slipped to No.5 in the Test rankings and losing at the quarter-final stage of this year’s World Cup following three straight tournament wins.

He also has to work in Ponting’s shadow, with the former skipper standing down on Tuesday but declaring his intention to play on as a specialist batsman.

But Clarke, who will have all-rounder Shane Watson as his new deputy, is confident it can all mesh together into a successful product.

“Our goals, Shane Watson, myself, Ricky Ponting, the Australian cricket team, are all exactly the same,” he told a media conference at the SCG on Wednesday.

“We want to become the best team we can be.

“We want to become the number one ranked team in all forms and that’s going to take a long time.

“The key for me is we go back to old-fashioned basics and get better at the three major basics of cricket – batting, bowling, fielding.

“I think it’s a great start to improve those basics.

“I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.”

Clarke has another hefty task, winning over a sceptical Australian public that is still to warm to a man known as much for his tattoos, fast cars and glamorous girlfriends as his cricketing skills.

But, three days short of his 30th birthday, Clarke does demonstrate far more maturity than in his earlier days.

“I’m getting a lot more grey hairs,” he said.

“I think the public have seen a lot of who I am and they’ll get to see a lot more now that I’ve been given this opportunity.

“I don’t think I’ve changed too much to be honest.

“Maybe my address has changed and I have a few more tattoos than as a kid, but I think the person inside is still exactly the same.”

Australian selectors are still rejigging the national sides, with Xavier Doherty and 20-year-old paceman James Pattinson added to the one-day squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

Clarke will still have plenty of veterans at his disposal, however, with 30-somethings Mike Hussey, Brett Lee and Brad Haddin all maintaining their places to face Bangladesh.

But it is Ponting who is being described as the “elephant in the room” as Clarke tries to stamp his authority on the side.

“I certainly don’t think Ricky is any elephant in any room,” Clarke said.

“He’s been an amazing player for a long time and I think Bangladesh is going to be a great test for that to see how it all unfolds.

“I know he will allow me to do my job to the best of my ability.

“I’m confident if he can continue to play as well as he has done for such a long time, I’m certain it can work.”

Clarke’s first Test series as captain will be in Sri Lanka in August, but the long-term focus is regaining the Ashes in 2013-14 and the next World Cup in 2015.

But under Clarke’s leadership, the team will be driven to win every time they take to the field.

“We know how important it is to have success in every game we play,” he said.

“We go to Bangladesh and our goal is no different against Bangladesh as it is against England in the Ashes.

“We’ve got the potential, we’ve got the talent, it’s just about getting the best out of ourselves every day.”