Australia skipper Michael Clarke says his side’s dramatic pool stage loss to New Zealand was the “turning point” of the tournament.
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Australia was bowled out for a paltry total of 151 in Wellington after being tormented by the Black Caps pace attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
The 33-year-old says the loss was “the kick up the backside” Australia needed to go on and setup a rematch against its rivals in Sunday’s final.
“I believe that was the turning point in this tournament for the Australian team,” Clarke is quoted as saying by Reuters.
“I think that gave us a bit of a kick up the backside. We knew we got a good look at a very good team playing at the top of their game and I think our attitude from that day has been exceptional.
“The boys have got out of bed every single day to try and become better, and I think you’ve seen that in our results.”
The game marked Clarke’s return from a hamstring injury, but the skipper managed just 12 with the bat.
Bizarrely, Australia almost went on to win the game after Mitchell Starc produced superb figures of 6-28.
Australia and New Zealand face-off in the World Cup final at 3.30am (GMT) on Sunday.