Arthur says with in-form quicks such as Pat Cummins and James Pattinson on the sidelines through injury and all-rounder Shane Watson possibly not returning from his latest injury dramas until next month’s one-day series against India and Sri Lanka, Australia’s depth is just going to get better.
Arthur’s eyes lit up following Australia’s win in Perth when asked if he felt England players were starting to take notice of No 4-ranked Australia’s achievements in establishing a 3-0 lead in the four-match series against No.2-ranked India.
“Judging by the reports that I’ve read, they have started to take a little bit of notice,” Arthur told a news conference.
The new coach says his men have already achieved more than he expected, quickly recovering from an embarrassing drawn series against New Zealand last month.
After regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Arthur says they still have much work to do as they set about reaching the twin goals of winning back the Ashes and regaining the No 1 Test ranking.
“I’d like the Ashes to probably start in two months time so we’d have Cummins, Watson and Pattinson all available,” Arthur said. “It is the ultimate goal.
“This Indian series was a world-championship cricket series for us. The South African series early next summer is going to be a huge series.
“We need to be able to win those series against opponents ranked higher than us in the world in order to go back into England and challenge.
“Winning back the Ashes is at the forefront of everybody’s mind. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that we were trying to build a really competitive team to go back and win them in 2013, but not at the detriment of any other series.
“We’re a little bit ahead of where I thought we would be at this point in time. There’s a lot of good talent. Competition for places is going to be rife.”
Australia’s only selection concern for the fourth Test in Adelaide starting on January 24 centres on which fast bowler to drop from the four-man attack used on Perth’s bouncy pitch.
South Australia spinner Nathan Lyon is set to return for his first home Test.
Ben Hilfenhaus (23) and Peter Siddle (17) are the leading wicket-takers in the series and one is possibly due for a rest under Cricket Australia’s new rotation policy.
Mitchell Starc took 4-70 in Perth while Ryan Harris claimed 2-67 in his comeback from a hip injury as Australia steamrolled India by an innings and 37 runs.
“A lot will depend on how we look at our one-day squad as well and players who are going to get a proper workload through that,” Arthur said.
Meanwhile, Arthur took the extraordinary step of anointing opening batsman David Warner as a potential future Australian captain, after the 25-year-old blasted 180 off 159 to press home Australia’s advantage.
“Davey has leadership potential. He has the ability to lead any Australian team in any form of the game at some stage,” Arthur said. “Whether that’s in the next couple of weeks or whether that’s in a year or five years time I’m not sure.”
“He has a very good cricket brain. He leads a lot by example. He trains the house down. The perceptions that everybody had of David Warner and the reality of David Warner the person are poles apart.”
Warner, the working-class Sydney boy from a public-housing estate, was banned for one month from Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane in 2007.
The then 20-year-old had tested the patience of his employers with “repeated inappropriate treatment” of facilities which apparently included food fights with Mark Cosgrove and Aaron Finch, who were also suspended.
Arthur says he takes no credit for Warner’s stunning innings in Perth, despite some intensive work in the nets on the opener’s technique with batting coach Justin Langer.
“He’s the guy who actually asked for more and more (work),” Arthur said.