Schutt: Australia ‘thrive’ on the favourites tag

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“We want to keep all the jewelry.”

In seven short words, fast bowler Megan Schutt has provided insight into the mindset that is propelling Australia to dizzying new heights.

They will go into the Commonwealth Games semi-final against New Zealand on Saturday, knowing they are just two wins away from setting a new benchmark for limited overs success as they look to add a gold medal to a plethora of T20s. and ODI World Cup triumphs. This is a team that is driven to succeed and happy to embrace everything that comes with it.

“We come in as favourites, but we expect to win every game we play and are now favorites for a lot of tournaments, so we’re kind of used to it,” said Schutt. “It’s a tag that we’re humbled by. We’re the favorites, but we thrive on that.”

They also thrive on avenging missed opportunities. Cricket’s reintroduction to the Games is Australia’s 10th major limited-overs tournament since 2010, and they have won seven of the previous nine, a streak that includes five T20 World Cup crowns.

But while the wins define this team as one of the greatest national teams of all time, it’s the losses – such as the defeat to the West Indies in the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup and the loss of the ODI World Cup semi-final against India. in 2017 – which provide the motivation.

“There have clearly been two tournaments in the past that have haunted us, and something that has revived our team is that loss of 2017,” said Schutt. “We talk a lot about that, it’s a new era for us.

“Losing drives you forward and for us we want to win every game we play, we want to win every major championship. It’s about getting better and evolving as a team and every new tournament brings a new challenge.”

On Saturday, that challenge is New Zealand, which was well below par in their loss to England in Thursday night’s final pool game.

New Zealand made just 71 of their 20 overs, a goal England took in within 12 overs, with star duo Suzie Bates and skipper Sophie Devine both failing with the bat.

“That was un-New Zealand like,” Schutt said of the heavy defeat. “They never show up like that twice in a row and it’s a T20 cricket where any team can win, so we certainly don’t take them lightly.”

Saturday’s semi-final – played on a traditional grass pitch in Edgbaston after hybrid surfaces were used during the preliminaries – will start at 1800 local time (0300 AEST Sunday).

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