Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ICC: Warner – Australia picking up momentum at right time

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Photo Credit: ICC

David Warner reckons Australia have found their winning momentum at just the right time after his unbeaten 89 helped them defeat the West Indies.

Warner’s blistering knock came from just 56 balls and together with Mitchell Marsh, 53 off 32, he put on 123 for the third wicket as Australia cruised home by eight wickets in pursuit of 158.

Justin Langer’s side are now on the cusp of the ICC Men’s World Cup 2021 semi-finals where they are set to face high-flying Pakistan, as only a heavy win for South Africa over England in the day’s late game will see them miss out after they once again boosted their net run-rate with a convincing victory.

Warner said: “I think all in all, I think we are hitting the momentum in the right stage of this tournament. 

“It’s just another game of cricket. We don’t feel pressure at all. At the end of the day they [Pakistan] are playing well. We are playing well. And yeah, the best team will win on the day.

“Obviously there’s a task ahead for South Africa, and yeah, we’ll be watching with interest, and we’ll find out who we are going to be playing next game.

“If England do win, obviously we are through and we know we are going to be facing Pakistan which is going to be a good challenge.”

Warner heaped praise on teammate Marsh, who has been in and out of the side with Ashton Agar, but struck a sublime half century at a crucial stage for his country.

Warner added: “I’m seeing a very clear-minded cricketer. He’s coming out playing his natural game. He’s training the house down. He’s in peak performance, fitness. 

“He’s worked really, really hard. He’s obviously come in at a young age early on and a lot of people were knocking him.

“A lot of those players that have been around for a while are peaking and are finding their straps and playing with clear minds, and that’s exactly what he’s been doing.

“His form is outstanding and he’s hitting the ball as well as anyone on this team and you can see it on the field, and it’s fantastic and I’m really pumped for him and it’s great for our team.”

After an eight-wicket humbling by arch rivals England who defeated Australia with some 50 balls to spare, Australia have bounced back and look set to join the English in the last four, thanks in large part to hammering Bangladesh which repaired the damage to their net run-rate.

Warner explained that the squad have grown close since that defeat and have managed to move on from the disappointment very quickly.

He said: “Sometimes you do get hurt and you get hurt badly. And that’s what happened to us. 

“For us, it’s going and just doing what we normally do. You have to forget very fast about that, keep backing your game plan and putting your best foot forward and we have done that. 

“We have a great bunch of guys here and every time we are back at the hotel or we have got some free time, the boys are gelling very well. 

“We are in each other’s rooms out on the driving range, playing golf, playing PlayStation. Doing just the normal things that take your mind away from cricket and it’s been great.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard insisted his experienced side gave it their best shot throughout the competition but they had to accept they were just not good enough after bowing out at the Super 12 stage with a defeat.

Pollard said: “Obviously we brought in seniors and experienced players in this campaign. We thought we were going to be the ones to get us over line to try to get a title, and it didn’t happen. 

“These things happen. It’s not the first time you don’t qualify in a tournament or anything like that, and it’s not the first time guys would have failed throughout the campaign.

“We gave it our best shot and our best shot was not good enough, and we accept that. So it’s about moving on now and trying to rebuild from here and using the knowledge of some of these guys and the youngsters to come. So let’s see what happens in the future.”

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