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Clarke talks up Australia’s chances

February 12, 2011

Michael Clarke believes his teammates' recent experience of playing in India and their 6-1 ODI series win over England will help Australia's chances of winning the World Cup. —Photo by AFP
Michael Clarke believes his teammates\' recent experience of playing in India and their 6-1 ODI series win over England will help Australia\'s chances of winning the World Cup. —Photo by AFP
BANGALORE: Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke believes recent strong form in one-day games had the team in prime position to win a fourth straight World Cup.

Clarke said Saturday that Australia had “been playing some really good cricket” and if they could continue the form, they could “have a really good crack at the title.” Australia thrashed England 6-1 in the recently completed one-day series, and several of their players have experience playing in India over the past few years.

“After our defeat in the Ashes, it was really good that we turned the tide and that has given us a lot of confidence,” said Clarke. “We have been playing some really good cricket and all our guys really like to come here (India) for matches.”

The 29-year-old said the team was looking forward to playing as a unit.

“We have great individual players but a team wins a World Cup when the whole team plays well together,” said Clarke, who aggregated 436 runs at a superb average of 87.20 at the last World Cup in the West Indies.

“The pitches here are similar to the ones used in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, but I guess many teams have experience of playing in Indian conditions nowadays as there is the IPL and Champions League apart from international fixtures.”

Though the team had adequate spinners, Clarke said he was willing to turn his arm over for some orthodox left-arm spin.

“Spin will definitely play a big part and it will be important to adapt to pitches here. We have got quite a few good spinners in Jason (Krejza), Steven (Smith) and Cameron (White) but I am willing to bowl if required.”

He backed the team to be able to chase down big totals if required, thanks to an arsenal of big-hitting batsmen.

“We have power in our batting because of the presence of players like White, (David) Hussey and probably Smith, who have shown in T20 and one-day that they have the power to breach defences, so chasing eight runs an over towards the end of an innings is possible if we have wickets in hand.”

Clarke picked all-rounder Shane Watson as a “very important player” for the side, both as an opening batsman and a handy bowler.