The bowling is feared and the batting fearsome, but captain Michael Clarke believes they don’t hold the key to Australia’s World Cup campaign.
Clarke reckons fielding will be the crucial component to any Australian success in the tournament starting on February 14.
“Our bowling is certainly talented. Our batting has shown through this summer that we’re making important runs,” Clarke told reporters on Friday.
“I’m always a believer in fielding being a massive part of having success in any format of the game.
“So I think if we can make sure that we are the best fielding team in the world, I think that will go a long way to having success.”
Clarke was heartened by his recovery from a low-key outing in a Cricket XI fixture on Thursday.
But he remains uncertain if his injured hamstring will sufficiently heal in time for Australia’s opening cup game on February 14 against England in Melbourne.
“I don’t know the answer to that question,” he said.
“I pulled up well after yesterday. It was nice to spend some more time on the ground … bat, bowl and do a little bit of fielding as well.”
Allrounder James Faulkner is also battling injury – an abdominal strain has cast doubt on his participation in the tournament’s early stages.
But Clarke believed Australia’s squad had the depth to cover any absence of Faulkner and his renowned ability with the ball in the final overs.
“They have all had experience, especially in the shorter format in the Twenty20 stuff,” Clarke said of the rest of his bowlers.
“We have got the talent there, that is for sure. It’s just about practice now, plenty of work on our death stuff, execution.
“I’m confident any of the guys – allrounders or the specialist bowlers – can play that role.”
The Australians carry the mantle as the world’s top 50-over nation into the World Cup but Clarke said the ranking was largely irrelevant.
“The team winning the World Cup, I have looked at them as the number one team in the world,” he said.
“It is nice that we have success along the way. Hopefully, that helps us with momentum and confidence going into a major tournament.
“But in saying that, it’s one game at a time. That is the type of tournament it is.
“You need to build momentum through the tournament but you need to have consistent success. Hopefully, how we have performed over the last couple of years, we can take that confidence into this tournament but we need to be at our best.”