T20 World Cup 2022: "I don't know what I was watching" - Michael Clarke on Australia's timid performance against Ireland and Afghanistan

Australia v Afghanistan - ICC Men
Australia missed out on a semi-final spot. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has expressed his discontent with the defending champions' performance in the T20 World Cup 2022. Clarke lamented the lack of aggression within the team and questioned their selection decisions.

Australia learned their fate on Saturday (November 5) following England's four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. The win meant that Jos Buttler's side progressed to the semi-finals at Australia's expense as the defending champions had a negative net run rate.

Speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, Clarke stated that Australia lacked aggression against Ireland and Afghanistan when they had to secure big wins in both games. The World Cup-winning captain reckoned that Australia had to challenge themselves to win with as big a margin as possible:

"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."

He added:

"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."

The team from Down Under just about averted a loss to Afghanistan, beating them by four runs to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan struck 48 off 23 balls to give his side a chance.

Australia notably suffered an 89-run loss to New Zealand in their opening game, which meant they had to play catch-up on the net run rate front. Their game against England got washed out, which also put them at a disadvantage.

"I just think they got a number of things wrong" - Michael Clarke

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke. (Image Credits: Getty)
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke. (Image Credits: Getty)

Michael Clarke criticized Mitchell Starc's axing against Afghanistan as one of the wrong decisions taken by Australia. He feels the team has plenty of soul searching to do going forward and said:

"I just think they got a number of things wrong and I made it very clear in 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."

Australia will next lock horns in a three-match ODI series against England, starting on November 17.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman