Sydney, March 27: m ask Aussie skipper Michael Clarke an all too personal question.
“Michael you’ve had tremendous sex … as Australia captain,” said Shemilt, before quickly correcting himself by saying “success” and following up with “you might have had that as well, I don’t know.”
It was too much for Steve Smith, who burst into laughter, but a blushing Clarke did his best to answer.
“How well do you know me? That’s a question for my wife,” Clarke said.
But the press conference quickly reverted to more serious matters, including discussion of the rest and rehabilitation that will be crucial for Australia’s bowlers over the next two days.
Clarke’s men often enjoyed a week between games during the pool stage of the World Cup, but they now face a turnaround of just two days before the MCG final.
New Zealand may be surrendering home-ground advantage for the first time in the tournament, but they’ve had an extra two days off after downing South Africa in Auckland last Tuesday.
Clarke was confident his teammates would be able to back up and perform at their best on Sunday.
“Obviously we haven’t got much time and recovery will be our goal and our focus over the next two days,” Clarke said.
“We’ll have training on Saturday, but I think that’ll be selected players and optional.
“I don’t think our bowlers will do too much.
“Mentally the team is ready for this final … it’s about making sure the guys can recover as well as we can from this tough game.”
Josh Hazlewood left the field after finishing his 10 overs in Thursday’s semi-final against India at the SCG.
However, Clarke insisted it was precautionary and he expected the 24-year-old paceman would be fit for Sunday’s trans-Tasman clash.
“Hazlewood come off the field there at the end there with a sore thumb, but it sounds to me like he’s completely fine,” Clarke said. “He just wanted to rest up for the finals, so the youngster just took a few overs off.
“At this stage, everybody else is pretty good.”
Australia fielded an unchanged side against India, with Hazlewood preferred ahead of Pat Cummins and Xavier Doherty.
The expectation is selectors will stick with the winning formula again on the weekend.
“If everyone is fully fit it’s going to be extremely hard to change the XI,” Clarke said.