Clarke shrugs off defeats
Michael Clarke dismisses Australia's warm-up losses and insists they will be a different proposition in the World Cup.
Last Updated: 16/02/11 11:17am
Michael Clarke has dismissed Australia's World Cup warm-up defeats to South Africa and India and insisted the defending champions will be a different proposition when the tournament gets underway.
Ricky Ponting's side suffered a seven-wicket loss at the hands of South Africa in Bangalore on Tuesday after India had earlier beaten them by 38 runs. Australia begin their quest for a fourth straight World Cup victory against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad on February 21.
"Obviously the result did not go the way we would have liked," Australia vice-captain Clarke said.
"But we all understand that they are practice games. It's more about giving boys an opportunity than about winning.
"A practice game is a practice game. So it's important to maximize the chance to give everybody the opportunity to bat and bowl, and more importantly, to get used to the conditions.
"We play Zimbabwe in a week's time. Everybody had a bit of a run around and has seen the conditions. It's about preparing well for the next six days to be in right shape before the game against Zimbabwe."
Clarke also shrugged off his team's vulnerability to spin bowling in the two warm-up games.
"I don't think it is a worry. Spinners are probably going to play a big part in the tournament. All the players have their plans against spin bowling and we have good players of spin.
"But there are obviously areas we need to improve."
South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, who scored 60 off 76 balls in their win, also refused to get carried away.
"We're not reading too much into the fact that it was Australia that we beat, for us the warm-up matches were about gaining confidence and preparation ahead of the start of the tournament," he said.
"It is always a boost to get a win but for the team it was about getting our processes right.
"The intensity of all three disciplines; batting, bowling and fielding has been really high and we are satisfied with what we have achieved during the warm-up matches."
Australia are placed in Group A alongside Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya with the top four making it to the quarter-finals.
South Africa are in Group B with Bangladesh, India, England, West Indies, Netherlands and Ireland.