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Rediff.com  » Sports » Michael Clarke 'thrilled' to shut doubters

Michael Clarke 'thrilled' to shut doubters

May 12, 2010 12:52 IST

Dubbed underdogs to start with, Australia are in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup and skipper Michael Clarke is thrilled that his side has proved the naysayers wrong with their unbeaten run so far in the tournament.

michael clarke"For the people at home who have doubted us in this form of the game, we're thrilled to make it this far," Clarke said after Australia's six-wicket triumph over the West Indies on Tuesday.

Australia, who suffered a stunning one-run defeat against Zimbabwe in a practice match before the tournament, have remained unbeaten in the main event.

"We're excited to be in the semi-finals, it's something we haven't achieved before, but we didn't come here to make the semi-finals," said a beaming Clarke.

The Australians, who have dominated ODIs and Tests for long, were considered flops in Twenty20 and were even accused of not taking the format too seriously.

But Clarke, who has insisted that the team has improved considerably in the past one year, said the confidence has been growing with every passing win.

"More to the fact the way we're playing has given me a lot of confidence. We've come into this tournament ranked very low and our performances have been outstanding. That's because of the desire from all the boys to perform, and we've done that consistently and in all different conditions.

"That's very exciting," he said.

On the semi-final clash against Pakistan on Friday, Clarke said despite being an inconsistent outfit, Shahid Afridi's men are a dangerous opposition.

"Pakistan are very strong in any form of the game but especially Twenty20. They've shown that to obviously make the semi-finals once again in this form of the competition," Clarke said.

"We take momentum from every win we've had, going into Friday's game. They'll come out with a lot to prove on a wicket that suits them more than Barbados does," he added.

On whether his side has peaked too early, Clarke said, "My goal was to get to our peak after the warm-up matches and that momentum would drag us through the tournament."

"It's something we've all worked very hard over the last 12 months to try to achieve. Pakistan is a very strong team in this form of the game. They've got a lot of match-winners. It's a big game for us," he added.

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