Warm-up games don''t count much, feels Clarke

Written by: Pti
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Bangalore, Feb 15 (PTI) Despite suffering their secondsuccessive loss in a mere span of three days, Australiavice-captain Michael Clarke is not reading too much into theresults of the World Cup warm-up games.

"Obviously the result did not go the way we would haveliked but again we all understand that they are practicegames. It''s more about giving boys an opportunity than aboutwinning," Clarke said after his team lost to South Africa byseven wickets here today.

"A practice game is a practice game. So it�s important tomaximize the chance to give everybody the opportunity to batand bowl, and more importantly, to get used to theconditions."

"We play Zimbabwe in a week''s time. Everybody had a bitof a run around and seen the conditions. So it''s aboutpreparing well for the next six days to be in right shapebefore the game against Zimbabwe."

On playing spin and the spin department, Clarke said, "Idon''t think either are a worry. I think the wicket other nightspun much more than the wicket today.

"Spinners probably gonna play a big part in thetournament. All the players have their plans against spinbowling and we have good players of spin bowling."

"But there are obviously areas we need to improve."

Asked about India and South Africa, Clarke said, "I thinkwe know enough about both India and South Africa. They arevery good one-day teams and we have played good amount ofcricket against them."

Clarke also had a word of appreciation for skipper RickyPonting.

South Africa opener Hashim Amla seconded Clarke''s viewson warm-up games.

"It is a warm-up game, you don''t play 15 all the time.

They are a very good team and certainly beating them gives alot of confidence but, as I said, it''s a warm-up game," Amlasaid.

Talking about the wicket, he said, "The wicket had a bitmore on it for the seamers upfront and turned a bit later butnot as much as we were expecting.

"Certainly we bowled and batted with good intensity butwe are not looking too deep into it to be honest."

Despite their easy win, Amla said Australia cannot betaken lightly at any stage.

"Australia are a very good team. They are just coming offfrom a series win against England. As I said both teams wereexperimenting and trying to find the right combination. Oncethe competition starts you will see everybody giving their 100per cent," Amla said.

On the pitches, he said, "I don''t think we have too manyconcerns about unprepared pitches. I think the pitches will befine. Coming to the sub-continent you got to expect to playlot of spinners. We are kind of expecting the wickets to turn.

Fortunately, we been here quite a number of times in the last2-3 years." PTI SSC AH

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