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We have to be at our best to beat New Zealand, says Michael Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke on Thursday said that even though they have outclassed India in the semi-final, their task isn’t over yet as they have to be at their best to beat a spirited New Zealand side in the World Cup final on Sunday.

“”I think we have to play our best cricket. There’s no doubt about it. I said that before this game that we have to play our best to beat very good opposition,” Clarke said.

“New Zealand has been the form team of the competition, certainly deserve to be in the final, and yeah, we’re going to have to, like I say, be at our best to beat them.”

Opting to bat against India, Australia posted a massive score of 328/7 in 50 overs with Steven Smith scoring a quickfire 93-ball 105. He was well supported by opener Aaron Finch (81).

Chasing a big total, India were off to a good start. But after losing opener Shikhar Dhawan (45), wickets started to fall. The defending champions were eventually bowled out for 233, losing the game by 95 runs.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 65 later in the innings didn’t help much.

Clarke praised Smith’s performance saying he has shown class and is getting better with every game.

“I think he’s made the most of his opportunity. I can’t speak highly enough for the way he’s batting at the moment. He’s showing his class,” he said.

“He’s still training extremely hard, still getting there early, still doing the work even though he’s batting so well, and I can’t say I’m surprised he’s getting the results he’s getting.”

The skipper said Mitchell Johnson played a crucial part on Thursday scoring a quickfire 27 off 9 balls and claiming two crucial Indian wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

“Two crucial wickets, two big prize wickets, aren’t they? I’ve always said Mitchell making runs gives him confidence with the ball. I think tonight was a good example of that. He’s a class performer,” Clarke said.

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