Our batting was very poor, says Clarke

Our batting was very poor, says Clarke

Our batting was very poor, says Clarke

 Australia captain Michael Clarke said his side had to bat better against swing bowling if they were to win the World Cup after a top-order collapse ultimately proved decisive in a dramatic one-wicket defeat by New Zealand.

“We were extremely poor, there is no doubt about that,” said Clarke. “I think credit needs to go to New Zealand bowlers. They bowled really well.

“They swung the ball nicely and bowled good areas, but our shot selection was very poor, and I thought our defence more than anything else was an area that was a lot poorer than we would have liked.

“I think moving forward the balls are going to swing and we've got work to do with the bat. That's for sure.”

Clarke insisted Australia hadn't given up hope of victory after they were dismissed inside 33 overs.

“I made it clear to the boys that I thought we had enough runs, and I think you have to do that certainly as captain of the team,” he said.

“You have to back your bowlers. We've got a fantastic attack. All the guys have individual skill and talent, there is no doubt about it. And I think you've seen a good glimpse of that with the way Starcy bowled today.

“So the faith was there, there was no doubt about it. And we just had to execute. I think we did that.”

“Starc to me was a standout today. That individual performance was as good as you'll see in any form of the game.”

Clarke, who holed out off Boult in his first international game since December last year following a hamstring injury, added: “I'd like some more runs. I'm no different from the other top six batters. We were disappointing today, and my shot selection was poor.”

The win moved New Zealand into the quarterfinals with four wins in as many games, while Australia have three points in three, after Saturday's match followed a 111-run win over England and a wash-out with Bangladesh.

Clarke said the lengthy flights involved threatened to be the biggest challenge facing Australia in the remainder of their group campaign.

“The toughest part of the next few games for us is the flying time, I think,” he said.“We've got eight-and-a-half hours travel time to Perth tomorrow,” said Clarke, whose team next play Afghanistan on March 4.

“Then another five hours back to Sydney,” said Clarke of the match against Sri Lanka on March 8.“So recovery is going to be the key.”