Australia, the five-time winners, suffered two straight losses early on in their ODI World Cup 2023 campaign, giving the tournament a nightmare start. The squad, captained by Pat Cummins, initially lost to India in Chennai after a lackluster showing at the plate. While expectations were high for a comeback in the following game, Australia instead put on an even worse performance, which resulted in a humiliating 134-run loss to South Africa in the second game played on October 10 in Lucknow.
Many seasoned Australian cricketers were unhappy with this dismal start and publicly stated their displeasure. Michael Clarke, the captain of Australia's World Cup-winning team, was one of the important individuals to do so. He was critical of Cummins and his squad and gave them a severe warning for the future.
Clarke provided an open assessment of Australia's performance during a conversation with Sky Sports Radio. He highlighted that Australia should be sincere about their concerns about the difficulties that lie ahead if they are having trouble playing against a team like South Africa. He also noted that the squad needed to drastically improve since the following games against Asian nations like Pakistan and Sri Lanka would not be easy.
"Sri Lanka will play hard in those circumstances. Pakistan hasn't yet been played by us. We have some really challenging cricket ahead of us, and if we continue to play in this manner, we will not advance. I'm more concerned about the teams from the sub-continent because, if we play South Africa like that, we'll look ludicrous in their eyes, said Clarke.
where ausis loose the game ... pic.twitter.com/5ns4NM6WD7— Andleeb Akhtar ?? (@mr_akhtar_17) October 13, 2023
He continued by drawing a comparison between the Wallabies, Australia's rugby side, and the Australian cricket team's difficulties. The country may be discussing the cricket team's performance in a similar way to how they have been discussing the Wallabies, according to Clarke, if they don't get their act together soon.
The 42-year-old said, "If we're not cautious, the talk we've been having about the Wallabies for the previous three weeks will be about Australian cricket in two weeks.
When South Africa was given the opportunity to bat first, Quinton de Kock delivered an outstanding performance. Quinton de Kock scored 109 runs off 106 balls, blasting eight fours and five enormous sixes. Aiden Markram also made a substantial contribution, scoring a respectable 56 points off 44 shots. The Proteas were able to register a respectable total of 311/7 in their allocated 50 overs despite the efforts of the Australian bowlers.
Australia’s chase didn’t go as planned as they struggled to build partnerships. Marnus Labuschagne was the standout performer for the Aussies, scoring 46 runs off 74 balls. However, they were unable to maintain the required run rate. Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the South African bowlers, claiming three wickets for 33 runs in his eight overs.