Australian Assistant Coach Ricky Pontic admitted that his team suffered a loss from South Africa in the last World Cup championship game faces a difficult situation but says players can find a way to play their best game on semi-final.
Australian defeat in the last team game in South Africa on Saturday was injured by Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis who saw Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh leave Australia to join the World Cup team. Shaun Marsh was already blocked from the tournament after suffering a broken wrist in a clean session. The defending champions play their league favorites in England in the second semi-final on Thursday.
"It is not uncommon for a World Cup holiday. The last game of the group before a semifinal is probably a bit different. If you are absolutely honest, it is not ideal to have such changes enter a World Cup – finally, especially now we know that we play England, the favorites that enter the tournament, "said Ponting. "It's up to us coaches to make these people as easy as possible by talking to scenarios and situations and simply trying to keep them as free as possible in their minds," Cricket.com.au said.
Despite the loss of South Africa in the last championship match, which led India to the top of the table, Ponting said Australia was the best side of the tournament to date. "We have already won England in the tournament, I think it's fair to say that we are the special tournament team to date." A loss now, although it is not ideal to enter a semifinals, is probably not the worst. This could be a bit of an awakening, little fresher and a little restoration, maybe just make us a better team.
"Australia's best game must be in the semi-final, it's as simple as that," he said. However, he pointed out at the beginning of the tournament that he climbed to the back of a World Cup and not in the early stages, it must be Australia's top priority. "We talked about that, we have created, looking for this perfect cricket game. As we are in the tournament, we have not done it yet and we were too far away from doing (against South Africa).
"This is the goal that should be. It is up to players now to find another level to beat England." He said that Australia had been involved in the past with remarkable impediments to the three five-year trophies won by Ponting in 1999, 2003 and 2007. "I think in 2003 with (Shane) Warne blocked before a shot (Jason) Gillespie played a game and was blocked, we had Michael Bevan to enter the tournament with injury and Darren Lehmann stayed in. We had a little go there, "said the former captain.
"Fast forward until 2007 and Andrew Symonds did not play the first half of the tournament." But, he asked if he had something similar to what the team is now facing, the 44-year-old said: "Probably not at the end of a tournament."