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Australia desperate to avoid World Cup boilover

1.84K   //    04 Mar 2015, 02:48 IST
Australian skipper Michael Clarke during the training session ahead of Afghanistan clash

Cricket Australia skipper Michael Clarke has said that his team cannot think about their upcoming clash with Sri Lanka as they prepare for the match against Afghanistan at the WACA Ground. Australia are currently in fourth position in the Group A table with 3 points (one win, one loss and one draw). Should the three-time World Champions lose to Sri Lanka, they could possibly face South Africa in quarter-final and a possible semi-final clash with New Zealand. 

That scenario would be the worst possible outcome for Australia, who are currently struggling to gain momentum in this showpiece event. Aussies are expected to win against the minnows Afghanistan, but Clarke has said that the team’s thoughts were 100 per cent on the job at hand.

"(Coach Darren Lehmann) made it pretty clear to us that he wants us to stay focused on what's right in front of us," Clarke said. “We'll worry about Sunday after the game. I've watched Afghanistan play throughout this World Cup. I think they've performed really well.”

"The wicket looks fantastic out there, so there might be a bit of pace and bounce for their opening bowlers who have done a very good job throughout this tournament."

I feel really good, thank you: Clarke

After a seven-and-a-half hour flight from Auckland to Perth, Clarke said that he needs more time than others between getting off a plane and training at full intensity. His fitness was focussed more on the press conference, to which the captain said that he is feeling fit and spoke about the importance of recovery.

"I feel really good, thank you, It was a long flight, so the last two days have been really important recovery-wise to make sure, like everyone, we're doing everything we can to be a hundred percent fit for tomorrow.” he said

The boys have recovered well and are ready: Clarke

Given his recent injury woes and his long-standing back problem, Clarke was asked how he will prepare himself up for a game after so much travel. 

"I've got no idea. I've never done it before, so I'm about to find out," Clarke said. "Obviously, seven-and-a-half-hour flight, yeah, it takes some time to recover from that. But I think the boys have certainly done that full recovery, rehab, individual recovery as well as guys getting what they need.” he added.

"We've got a lot of resources as well. We've got so much staff. There are massage therapists, physios, doctors, strength and conditioning, whatever you need, it's there.”

“I think all the guys have trained really well today, so that's probably the best sign that we'll be able to walk out and train at full intensity today. It shows the boys have recovered well and are ready for tomorrow."  Clarke said. 

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