Australia aim to keep rolling
Pakistan must overturn form book in St Lucia
Last Updated: 14/05/10 5:52pm
We meet again: Clarke (left) and Afridi
Australia captain Michael Clarke is in confident mood ahead of Friday's ICC World Twenty20 semi-final against Pakistan, having already beaten Shahid Afridi's men earlier in the tournament.
"We are thrilled to be in the semi-finals - but we didn't come here to make the semi-finals."
Michael Clarke Quotes of the week
Clarke's team have won all five of their matches in the Caribbean by wide margins, including a 34-run success over Pakistan in St Lucia, also the venue for the semi-final, during the initial group stage on May 2.
"I think it does, but it is more the way we are playing that gives me a lot of confidence," said Clarke when asked if the earlier victory may provide a psychological edge.
"We came into this ranked very low, but our performances have been outstanding - and that's because of the desire from all the boys to work really hard and perform.
"We've done that consistently in completely different conditions here and in Barbados, so that's very exciting."
Clarke, however, will not be taking Pakistan - the defending champions - lightly.
"They are a very strong team in any form of the game, but especially T20 - and they've shown that to make the semi-finals once again," he added.
"We take momentum from every win we've had. But they'll come out with a lot to prove on a wicket that will probably suit them a little more than Barbados."
Clarke rejected the suggestion that Australia have peaked too soon - and made it clear there is unfinished business for the multiple 50-over World Cup winners, who have fallen short in both of the previous World T20s.
"We are thrilled to be in the semi-finals - but we didn't come here to make the semi-finals," he said.
"As I've said from the start, I think this is a wonderful squad. We've got guys who haven't had the chance in the middle, but they still turn up and train every day and work their backsides off.
"Then there's the XI on the field that bust their backsides not only for themselves but also for the support staff, the supporters from Australia and the people at home who have doubted us in this format."
Pakistan have often over the past two weeks looked like anything but a team about to defend their title.
They scraped through on run rate with only one Super Eight win but have a chance for a measure of revenge against Australia, who whitewashed them in three Tests and five one-day internationals on their recent tour Down Under.
Afridi believes his squad may be about to click at just the right time.
"I think we are feeling good," he said. "We have played well but just missed some opportunities, against England and then just losing [off the last ball] against New Zealand.
"Overall, the guys are very confident after the last game - and I think it will be a great game against Australia."