World Cup

We will have to bat better against India: Clarke

Australia saw through one of the fiercer fast bowling spells by Wahab Riaz to set up a cricket World Cup semifinal clash against India but the home team skipper Michael Clarke on Friday said his players would have to bat much better against the defending champions.

India and Australia will fight it out for a place in the title clash on March 26 in Sydney.

“They are in good form. M.S. Dhoni is leading them well.

We look forward to another really tough contest. We’ll have to bat a lot better, specially the Top 4,” Clarke said when asked about his thoughts on the semifinal, following their six wicket win over Pakistan here.

Asked how Australia would mentally prepare for the semifinal, Clarke said, “It’s no different to another game playing for Australia. I have spoken about not putting the World Cup on a pedestal, so preparation as always. Every time you play for Australia, you want do your best.”

The Australian captain said the quarterfinal clash against Pakistan was “a really close game in the end".

“The bowlers did a fantastic job, our fielding was excellent, but Wahab came out and really put us under pressure — one of the fastest spells I’ve seen in a long time,” he said.

Clarke praised Shane Watson (64 not out) and Steven Smith (65) for successfully seeing off a crisis situation when they looked to be in a spot of bother, having lost three wickets with not many runs on the board.

“Watson toughed it out, Steven Smith looked fantastic. If they had caught Watto at fine leg it could have been a lot tighter; credit to sticking in there. Wahab pushed us really hard,” he said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 5:53:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/we-will-have-to-bat-better-against-india-clarke/article7015675.ece

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