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World Cup 2023: Australia peaking at the right time, says Mitchell Starc before semi-final clash vs SA


World Cup 2023: Australia peaking at the right time, says Mitchell Starc before semi-final clash vs SA


Australia is set to face South Africa in the semi-finals clash on November 16, Thursday in the World Cup 2023 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Cricket World Cup 2023: Full Coverage
Ahead of the clash of the titans, Australia’s ace pacer Mitchell Starc opened up on facing South Africa in the Semi-finals.
“I think looking back at 2015, um, we probably thought they were the only team that could beat us. Certainly at that stage of the tournament, and we didn’t play them,” said Mitchell Starc.

Interestingly, the 2015 World Cup also had India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as its semi-finalists. The MS Dhoni-led side had taken on the Michael Clarke-led team. Australia went on to face New Zealand in the finals, who defeated South Africa in the semi-finals in a rain-curtailed match. Australia lifted the World Cup on their home turf. Mitchell Starc was the joint-highest wicket-taker in that edition of the World Cup with 28 wickets in his kitty. It’s the first time the two teams will be playing a knockout match against each other in the ODI World Cup.

Starc expressed excitement about finally facing the Proteas in the Semi-finals for the first time. The speedster praised South Africa for their performance in the tournament so far and also recalled Australia’s loss against South Africa in the group stage of the tournament.
“South Africa had the better of us in Lucknow early on in the tournament. Both the teams have kept a close eye on each other and few games back, we knew we were probably going to face each other in the Semi-Final. So, South Africa certainly have a potent attack and they are a team,” said Mitchell Starc.

In the league stage match between the two teams, Australia was completely outplayed by South Africa as the Proteas defeated Australia by a huge margin of 134 runs at Ekana Stadium, Lucknow. South Africa have won nine of their last 11 ODIs against Australia.
Mitchell Starc is hopeful that the conditions at the Eden Gardens will play a huge role and are expected to be different than that seen at the Ekana Stadium, Lucknow.
“No doubt that conditions are going to be very different to lucknow as well. So, um, all things come in factor into play here, and then we’ll see how we’re placed. Hopefully on the good end,” said Mitchell Starc.
South Africa registered five convincing wins while batting first with over 100-run margin, two nervy wins and two losses while chasing in this tournament. Their performance have been clinical in the group stage with Quinton de Kock being among the highest run-scorers in the tournament with 591 runs along with Van der Dussen who has scored 442 runs in the tournament so far.

Mitchell Starc lauded Australia’s performance in the ongoing World Cup 2023 and said that the team ha speaked at the right time.
“We are at the pointy end and seem to be peaking at the right time, which Australia tend to do in tournament play. And whilst we didn’t start the way we wanted to, We’ve certainly had, lot of good contributions from individuals along the way, and we find ourselves in another World Cup semi-final,” said Mitchell Starc.
For Australia, their batting has come together as a unit to put huge totals.
Glenn Maxwell scored the fastest century of World Cup 2023 against the Netherlands as Australia registered the biggest win in World Cup history by 309 runs and the magical double hundred against Afghanistan, which helped Australia win the match by 3 wickets. David Warner scored two centuries in the tournament and is among the highest run scorers in the tournament with 499 runs.

Australia roared back to winning ways, winning seven matches on the trot after losing the first two matches against India and South Africa and hence, finishing at the third spot in the points table. The Proteas, on the other hand, finished at the second spot in the points table after losing against India and the Netherlands. Owing to the net run rate, South Africa finished ahead of Australia.
South Africa have reached their fifth semi-final in the ODI World Cup in the nine editions of the tournament that they have played.
With eight, Australia have played the most ODI World Cup semifinals and Australia have won six out of them.
South Africa will look to progress to their first-ever World Cup finals and Australia, on the other hand, would look to seal the finals spot for the seventh time.

Published By:

Diya Kakkar

Published On:

Nov 13, 2023


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