Clarke pledges no mercy as quarter-final looms

HOBART : Australia skipper Michael Clarke pledged no mercy on crisis-hit Scotland as the four-time World Cup champions seek a headline-grabbing performance ahead of a potential quarter-final collision with Pakistan.
Australia have already made sure of their spot in the next stage after last weekend’s 64-run win over fellow title contenders Sri Lanka where they piled up 376-9.
That followed their World Cup record score of 417-6 to rout Afghanistan by 275 runs.
Victory against Pool A’s rock-bottom Scotland on Saturday will ensure the runners-up spot behind New Zealand and a possible last-eight clash in Adelaide on March 20 against old adversaries Pakistan should Misbah-ul-Haq’s side beat Ireland on Sunday.
“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. Everybody has turned up to training, wanting to get better,” said Clarke.
“We need momentum, and we need to grab it and run with it for as long as we possibly can. In Hobart, it’ll be full steam ahead looking to become better individually and as a team.”
The only selection issue appears to still revolve around Shane Watson who was dropped for the Afghanistan match but restored to the line-up for the win over Sri Lanka in Sydney.
He certainly responded with a fine innings of 67.
“The way Shane played the other day was fantastic. I think he sort of adopted that approach where he knew he could come in and play his game,” said opening batsman David Warner.
“Because he was out of form he probably had the luxury to go in and play the way he wanted to play and that’s the message he probably wanted to send to everyone: he can still play this form of the game, it doesn’t matter where
“With the team we’ve got and the balance we’ve got, we showed the other night with the bat what can happen.”
Australia will have little to fear from a Scotland side who have still to win a World Cup match in three appearances. (AGENCIES)


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