ICC World Cup: Australia must bat better against India, says Michael Clarke

After a thumping six-wicket win over Pakistan in quarters, skipper Michael Clarke says Australia’s top order must contribute handsomely if they have to beat MS Dhoni’s men in March 26 semi-final at Sydney

Adelaide: After beating Pakistan quite convincingly in a cricket World Cup quarter-final at the Adelaide Oval here on Friday, Australia skipper Michael Clarke said his players will have to bat much better against the defending champions.

A dejected Michael Clarke departs for eight yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
A dejected Michael Clarke departs for eight yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

India and Australia will fight it out for a place in the title clash on March 26 in Sydney. “They are in good form. MS Dhoni is leading them well. We look forward to another really tough contest. We’ll have to bat a lot better, specially the Top Four,” Clarke said following their six-wicket win over Pakistan here yesterday.

Clarke said Australia need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of India. “I think obviously India are a completely different opposition to Pakistan. They have different strengths, different weaknesses as well. So we need to assess them,” Clarke said at the post-match media conference.

“They’re obviously playing a lot better than they were throughout the start of the summer. And I said that leading into the World Cup, that I thought India were going to be extremely tough team to beat,” he added.

The skipper also looked wary of the fact that the Indians now were accustomed to the conditions in Australia after being here for over four months and it would certainly be a challenge to overcome them come Thursday.

“They’ve spent so much time in Australia, they know the conditions quite well. The game on Thursday is going to certainly be a challenge, and we definitely have to be at our best to beat them.”

Quality spinners
Asked if going into the semi-finals without quality spinners can dampen their chances against India, Clarke said he hopes it will not but asserted he is satisfied with the spinning armoury at his disposal. “I hope not. I think — we obviously didn’t pick Xavier Doherty today, but he’s been a really good spinner for the Australian team over the last few years. So if the wicket does spin, I think the selectors have that option,” he said.

“Obviously, we have Glenn Maxwell, who bowled tonight and picked up a couple of wickets. Hopefully, I can bowl a few overs, and we’ve got Steve Smith as well. We’ve got spinning options, but we’ll wait and see what the pitch is like. However, I am extremely satisfied with the options I have,” concluded Clarke.

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