T20 World Cup 2024: Australia perform best under pressure, we’ll be up and about against India, says Marsh

Captain Mitchell Marsh feels Australia tend to perform best with its backs against the wall, adding that the former champion will bounce back strongly from the loss to Afghanistan and bring its A Game against India on Monday.

Australia was handed a 21-run defeat by Afghanistan in the Super Eights fixture here, jeopardising its chances of qualifying for the semifinals.

Marsh and Co. now will have to win their final Super Eights match against India and maintain a healthy Net Run Rate to reach the last four stage.

“It’s a big game, it will be against India obviously and it’s a must-win game. I think if you look back at the short history of this team, I know for a fact that it brings out the best in our guys. So, the boys will certainly be up and about for it,” Marsh said at the post-match press conference.

“Yeah, I think that’s really clear for us. It’s all about trusting ourselves. We’ve got a good bunch of people and I believe our best is up there with the best. So, we need to bring that in a couple of days’ time and move forward pretty quickly,” he added.

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The loss broke Australia’s eight-match winning streak in T20Is with Marsh calling it an ‘off’ day.

“First things first, recover. We have a lot of belief in our group. We are a very good cricket team. Yes, tonight we had an off night but I guess there’s also a positive in the fact that in 36 hours we go again.”

It was the Afghans first-ever win over Australia in international cricket. Afghanistan had lost all six of the previous meetings, including four ODIs.

They had come close to defeating Australia during the ODI World Cup last year but a spectacular performance by Glenn Maxwell had denied them that joy.

“I mean first things first. I thought Afghanistan were really good and they outplayed us and they deserved to win that game.

“There’s a lot of things you can look at, the reality is there’re small margins here. When the scores are low, we had an off-one in the field. But yeah, got to give credit where credit is due and Afghanistan was pretty good.”

Marsh acknowledged that Afghanistan has developed into a dangerous side in world cricket. Rashid Khan and his men had defeated Australia’s trans-Tasman rival New Zealand in the group stage earlier.

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“Obviously, they’re a good side. And they’re not an Associate nation, they’re a very good cricket team who play against the best all the time and they have improved a hell of a lot over the last few years.

“We know certainly in these conditions that they are a big danger team. Like I said before, they outplayed us tonight and credit to them.”

Australia weas guilty of dropping as many as five catches against Afghanistan. The men from Down Under had looked off-colour in the group game against Scotland as well.

“Look I think we don’t want too many off nights in the field but I also believe that at our best we’re an unbelievable fielding side. So, it’s easy to look at tonight and yes it was disappointing but ultimately, we have 36 hours to turn it around and I still believe that our best is very good in the field.

“We certainly pride ourselves on our fielding. Can’t question the boys putting in the work. I think it’s no different to any other skill set.

“We put in the work, we didn’t execute in the field tonight and ultimately it played a part in us losing the game.”

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