Warm-up games don`t count much, feels Clarke
Bangalore: Despite suffering their second successive loss in a mere span of three days, Australia
vice-captain Michael Clarke is not reading too much into the results of the World Cup warm-up games.
"Obviously the result did not go the way we would have liked but again we all understand that they are practice games. It`s more about giving boys an opportunity than about winning," Clarke said after his team lost to South Africa by seven wickets here today.
"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 seen the conditions. So it`s about preparing well for the next six days to be in right shape before the game against Zimbabwe."
On playing spin and the spin department, Clarke said, "I don`t think either are a worry. I think the wicket other night spun much more than the wicket today.”
"Spinners probably gonna play a big part in the tournament. All the players have their plans against spin bowling and we have good players of spin bowling."
"But there are obviously areas we need to improve."
Asked about India and South Africa, Clarke said, "I think we know enough about both India and South Africa. They are very good one-day teams and we have played good amount of cricket against them."
Clarke also had a word of appreciation for skipper Ricky Ponting.
South Africa opener Hashim Amla seconded Clarke`s views on warm-up games.
"It is a warm-up game, you don`t play 15 all the time. They are a very good team and certainly beating them gives a lot of confidence but, as I said, it`s a warm-up game," Amla said.
Talking about the wicket, he said, "The wicket had a bit more on it for the seamers upfront and turned a bit later but not as much as we were expecting.”
"Certainly we bowled and batted with good intensity but we are not looking too deep into it to be honest."
Despite their easy win, Amla said Australia cannot be taken lightly at any stage.
"Australia are a very good team. They are just coming off from a series win against England. As I said both teams were experimenting and trying to find the right combination. Once the competition starts you will see everybody giving their 100 per cent," Amla said.
On the pitches, he said, "I don`t think we have too many concerns about unprepared pitches. I think the pitches will be fine. Coming to the sub-continent you got to expect to play lot of spinners. We are kind of expecting the wickets to turn. Fortunately, we been here quite a number of times in the last 2-3 years."