AS FAR as Michael Clarke's concerned, his impending first anniversary as Australia's captain is not a time to reflect, it's a time to look ahead to new challenges.
Clarke has overcome the critics who doubted his ability to handle the responsibilities of Australia's second biggest job, ushering in a new generation of talent while improving results.
Under his tenure Australia has beaten Sri Lanka away, drawn a two-game series in South Africa and whitewashed India 4-0 this domestic summer.
The only blip on Clarke's captaincy radar was the disappointing loss to New Zealand in Hobart which ensured the series with the Kiwis finished 1-1.
''It's been a great 12 months,'' Clarke said. ''We've obviously played some outstanding cricket and there's been some patches in the past 12 months where we haven't been as consistent as we would like. Overall we've grown as a team, I think we've come a long way.''
Clarke's importance to the team, not just as captain but also as a batsman, was keenly felt in his absence due to a hamstring injury during the five-match one-day series that opened the tour of the Caribbean. And it was underlined in the International Cricket Council rankings released yesterday which named Clarke alongside South Africa's A. B. de Villiers as the world's No. 1 batsmen.
Clarke could only watch from home as stand-in skipper Shane Watson salvaged a 2-2 drawn series with a win in last week's final match in St Lucia.
But having proven his fitness, Clarke has gathered up the leadership reins from Watson in Barbados and is preparing to continue his quest to take Australia back to the world's No. 1 Test ranking when a three-match series against the Windies begins in Bridgetown on April 7.
Limited overs squad members such as David Warner, James Pattinson and Matthew Wade have been able to get a taste of Caribbean conditions in the past few weeks.
But that trio, as well as Warner's likely opening partner Ed Cowan, are yet to play a Test overseas and Clarke admits that's the next challenge for his rising stars.
''That's the major difference between first-class cricket and international cricket,'' he said.
''It's not necessarily that you always face better bowlers or bowl to better batters, it's the fact you're playing in conditions the opposition is so used to and you're not used to, you've got to get accustomed to that.''
Despite Darren Sammy's team providing more resistance than many anticipated in the limited-overs campaign, a tour to the Caribbean is far from the challenge it was between the West Indies' glory years of the 1980s and early '90s.
Since Mark Taylor's team broke through in 1995 to end the West Indies' 15-year streak of not losing a Test series, Australia hasn't lost a series to its former arch-rivals.
Clarke is one of three survivors, along with Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, from Australia's 2-0 Test win over the West Indies in 2008 - the last tour of the Caribbean. But he says the opponent is of a different quality this time around.
Clarke is also expecting a barrage of Calypso quicks to challenge his batsmen with Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul all expected to feature - though Rampaul is still recovering from a bout of dengue fever.
Cummins was ruled out for the summer with a foot injury and has not played competitively since his impressive Test debut in South Africa late last year.