Sydney : Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has slammed Aaron Finch & Co. for their “un-Australian” brand of cricket throughout the Men’s T20 World Cup at home, which resulted in their exit from the Super 12 stage of the tournament.
Australia’s defence of their title at home began on a bad note, losing to New Zealand by 89 runs at Sydney. That crushing defeat left Australia playing catch up and despite wins against Ireland and Afghanistan, they weren’t much convincing in their performances, culminating in them finishing Group 1 in third place with a negative run rate.
“I think Australians in general, on the biggest stage under the most amount of pressure, always put in on the line and have a crack. We’re not scared to lose. Yet we picked an aggressive 11 in this World Cup squad yet played so defensively.
Very un-Australian,” Clarke said on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show.But what frustrated Clarke the most was Australia’s inability to ruthlessly defeat Ireland as their winning margin was 35 runs and then edge Afghanistan by just four runs.
“The frustrating thing for me is I think they missed a trick against Ireland and then against Afghanistan, I don’t know what I was watching. It felt like they were doing everything they could just to beat Afghanistan.
I know you can never just wipe the floor with a team and have that attitude but they had to.””They had to walk out there against Afghanistan and say, ‘we’re going to make 200 and bowl you out for 100’ but they just didn’t have that aggressiveness, they didn’t have that fire in the belly, even in the field they looked a bit sluggish in the field,” he added.
Clarke also expressed anger over the selection calls made by Australia throughout the tournament, which also includes the surprise call to leave left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc out of a decisive match against Afghanistan.
“I just think they got a number of things wrong and I made it very clear in the commentary that I think leaving Mitchell Starc out of the team against Afghanistan was one of those things. They’ve got a lot to look at, it’s not just the players.”
“I think some of the decisions made over the past few months leading up to the World Cup they need to look at. For me, hopefully, they find a way to improve. You can’t win every game, every tournament, I understand that.”
“But with the Australian cricket team there is high expectation and we want to see our team make the final and win tournaments and series.”Clarke further questioned Australia’s preparation for the showpiece event, saying if Justin Langer was the head coach, he wouldn’t have let Australia steer away from the ruthlessness and cutting edge expected of them.
Under Langer’s coaching, Australia had won the T20 World Cup 2021.”I feel for Andrew McDonald because he’s a great bloke but I guarantee to you, if JL was coach of this team, this team would have got a massive boot up the backside well before the tournament started.”
Clarke believes that the anger around Langer’s sacking as head coach earlier this year may have led to fans not coming out in support of Australia in the tournament.”The other thing as well, and I said it a few weeks ago on here, at the moment I feel like there’s a real dislike for the Aussie team and I want to see that turnaround.
We’ve got messages this morning, it seems like so many people are happy that Australia lost.””There’s still angst around Justin Langer being sacked or resigning, how that went down. I think there’s angst around our style of play and how we’re playing.
Patty Cummins has got a big job as captain and Andrew McDonald if he’s going to be coach in trying to turn a few things around.””I think allowing the fans to be back a part of their cricket team is so important.
I think the fans feel like they are well and truly left out and nobody is taking notice of what they want and what they need for Australian cricket to get back to being a powerhouse and a well-supported national team.”
“Australian cricket has always tried to be the No.1 team in the country but we’re nowhere near that now,” he concluded.
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