Sydney: Australia skipper Michael Clarke on Thursday said he is proud the way his team played in the semi-final against India but pointed out that the final against New Zealand will be a tough one on Sunday.
Opting to bat, 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.
“Obviously I am really excited, the boys played some outstanding cricket,” Clarke said at the post match presentation ceremony.
“It's a wonderful achievement. We're proud to make the final but it's going to be tough against New Zealand.”
Clarke heaped praise on Smith for his match-winning knock.
“Smithy was hitting the ball so sweetly. He played an outstanding knock,” he said.
The 33-year-old said that losing to New Zealand in the group stage of the tournament sounded a warning bell for them.
“Losing to New Zealand in the group stage gave us a kick up the backside. The boys have turned up to training and the results have showed that,” Clarke said.
The four-time world champions face New Zealand in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
Speaking about the opponent and the big match, the skipper said, “New Zealand is a great team. It's always good to play them, we hope plenty of Aussies come out to support us.”
When the right-handed-batsman was asked if India's skipper Dhoni would play the 2019 World Cup, Clarke said, “I'm sure he will be, he has a lot of cricket in him.”