World Cup

Our bowlers have won us the cup: Clarke

Where other teams may feel nervous on the big stage, Australia enjoys it. No one exemplified that attitude better than Michael Clarke who, in his final ODI appearance, made 74 to anchor Australia’s run-chase in the World Cup final, however modest the target may have been.

“The Australian way has always been about the big games,” he said.

“It’s probably something I learned at a young age, that the big players always stood up in major tournaments.

“They weren’t scared of losing. They always wanted to bowl or wanted to bat in that big tournament, and I guess I was lucky enough to grow up in a team that had six, seven, eight of those players that wanted the ball, that wanted the bat on that stage.”

Clarke credited his bowlers with the win. “There’s no doubt that Starcky deserves the Man of the Series award. He’s been exceptional.

“Our whole attack has, to be honest. It’s no coincidence why we sit here World Cup winners tonight.

“Our bowlers have won us the World Cup,” he said.

His one-day exit was as close to a fairytale ending as possible, Clarke felt.

“Not only to win a World Cup but to win in front of your home fans – there was a lot of expectation and pressure, and the boys soaked that up from day one and loved every minute of it,” he said.

“I said after our semifinal that mentally we were ready for this final. I think we showed that today. Even today, once we bowled New Zealand out, six or seven of the guys went to the nets for a hit in the lead-up to our batting innings. It shows the discipline and the dedication.

“New Zealand deserve a lot of credit for the way they played throughout this tournament. We have the utmost respect for that team, and my relationship with Brendon is very close.

“The two best teams in the World Cup were in the final, and just happened to be our day today.”

Doing it for Hughesy

The World Cup is the end of a taxing summer for Australia, not least because of the tragic death of Phil Hughes.

“Hughesy is thought about and spoken about on a daily basis,” Clarke said.

“The last couple of months have been harder than when he first passed away. I’ve been in regular contact with his sister and his family.

“And I know they would have been watching tonight. I guess that’s what makes it so special, that we are still thinking about him.

“I won’t play another game without his Test number on my hat, and I’ll wear this black armband for the rest of my career.

“We’ve spoken about it as a team. We believe we played this World Cup with 16 players in our squad, and that will continue for the rest of my career.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:46:27 PM |

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