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We need to assess India's strengths, weaknesses: Clarke

Michael Clarke Adelaide, March 20 (IANS) After beating Pakistan quite convincingly in a cricket World Cup quarter-final at the Adelaide Oval here ...

Michael Clarke 

Adelaide, March 20 (IANS) After beating Pakistan quite convincingly in a cricket World Cup quarter-final at the Adelaide Oval here on Friday, Australia skipper Michael Clarke said they need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of India whom they face in the semi-final of the tournament.

Australia will lock horns against the defending champions at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on March 26.

"I think obviously India are a completely different opposition to Pakistan. They have different strengths. Also different weaknesses as well. So we need to assess them," Clarke said at the post-match media conference.

"They're obviously playing a lot better than they were throughout the start of the summer. And I said that leading into the World Cup, that I thought India were going to be extremely tough team to beat."

The skipper also looked wary of the fact that the Indians now were accustomed to the conditions in Australia after being here for over four months and it would certainly be a challenge to overcome them come Thursday.

"They've spent so much time in Australia, they know the conditions quite well. The game on Thursday is going to certainly be a challenge, and we -- I say it all the time, but we're definitely going to have to be at our best to beat them."

Asked if going into the semi-finals without quality spinners can dampen their chances against India, Clarke said he hopes it will not but asserted he is satisfied with the spinning armoury at his disposal.

"I hope not. I think -- we obviously didn't pick Xavier Doherty today, but he's been a really good spinner for the Australian team over the last few years. So if the wicket does spin, I think the selectors have that option," he said.

"Obviously we have Glenn Maxwell, who bowled tonight and picked up a couple of wickets. Hopefully I can bowl a few overs, and we've got Steve Smith as well," he added.

"We've got spinning options, but we'll wait and see what the pitch is like. However,I am extremely satisfied with the options I have," concluded Clarke.

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