Australia climbed above England and Pakistan from fifth to third on the ICC world rankings, behind South Africa and India, after a 281-run trouncing of England to sweep the Ashes series here. (Agencies)
The victorious Australian skipper knows that Graeme Smith's Proteas will give his Australians an idea of where they stand in Test cricket after a lopsided series against England, which culminated in a three-day final Test win.
"We have the greatest attack in the world and they've shown it," Clarke said.
"It's certainly going to be a challenge for us to perform over there and then our next Test series is in the UAE against Pakistan which is going to be extremely tough as well,” he said.
"Playing away from home in international cricket seems to be hard to get results. We believe we have the team to have success,” he said.
Clarke said it will take more than one series win to prove Australia are the best team in world cricket.
"We are not going to win in South Africa and all of a sudden think we're the best team in the world," he said.
"It's not about that. It's about consistency home and away over long periods of time and if you do that you will get the results you're after,” he said.
Australia play South Africa in three Tests, starting at Centurion on February 12.
Clarke said it was satisfying to turn things around after a poor start to last year.
"It's been a roller-coaster ride... the start of 2013 certainly didn't go anywhere near as well as we would have liked," he said.
Australia climbed above England and Pakistan from fifth to third on the ICC world rankings, behind South Africa and India, after a 281-run trouncing of England to sweep the Ashes series here.