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Australia needs to win final T20 against South Africa

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Australia needs

Australian coach Shelley Nitschke acknowledges the ongoing trend of the competitive landscape, emphasizing that the “gap has always been closing.” The recent historic T20 loss to South Africa on Sunday serves as further evidence that each match requires the team’s utmost effort.

Australia needs

Looking ahead to the crucial final match in Hobart on Tuesday night, Nitschke underscores the necessity for improvement in every aspect of the Aussie game to prevent another defeat and seeks immediate redemption.

While the defeat in Canberra on Saturday marked the first time Australia lost to South Africa in T20, it may have surprised some given the dominant 25-0 record in T20 and ODI clashes dating back to 1997, including a victory in last year’s T20 World Cup final.

However, Nitschke, reflecting on the team’s past 12 months, points out instances such as a Test loss to India in India and a close call in retaining the Ashes in England, losing two out of three T20s. These experiences reinforce the coach’s message to a team accustomed to consistent victories – that they can no longer take success for granted.

In assessing South Africa’s performance, Nitschke acknowledges their strength, stating, “Particularly with the T20, they (South Africa) are a very good team.” She highlights their recent appearance in the T20 World Cup final against Australia as evidence of their competitive prowess.

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“We’ve consistently acknowledged the competitiveness of women’s cricket, having clinched significant moments in major tournaments that contributed to our success in world cups,” expresses the coach.

Reflecting on the team’s journey, she notes, “However, we’ve been mindful that, despite our victories and occasional strokes of luck, the gap, if any, has been narrowing. The landscape remains fiercely competitive, especially with the emergence of domestic leagues worldwide. We understand that facing any country now requires us to be at our absolute best, or we risk being on the losing side.”

The Australian team, having failed to surpass 150 with the bat in both games and allowing the visitors to chase down their 142-6 in the second match, is urged by Nitschke to elevate their performance in all aspects – batting, bowling, and fielding.

Discussing Sunday’s outcome, she remarks, “The challenges cut across all facets of the game. Our batting performance left room for improvement. While the opposition bowled exceptionally well, we believe in our ability to set a more challenging target. Additionally, we conceded some freebies with the ball, making the chase more comfortable for the opponents than it should have been.”

In preparing for the upcoming match, the coach emphasizes the need for her players to approach the game with “freedom,” encouraging them to unleash their best performances on the field.

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