Australia captain Pat Cummins is sure the five-time World Cup winners can use past experience of the big occasion to their advantage when they take on South Africa in Kolkata.
Cummins’ side are on a roll since losing against tournament hosts India and their opponents on Thursday, winning their remaining seven group-stage matches to storm into yet another semi-final.
South Africa might have prevailed in Lucknow and in an ODI series between the teams in September, but Australia have significantly more experience than the Proteas in the knockouts of a major tournament.
Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were part of the 2015 trophy-winning campaign as well as the T20 World Cup triumph two years ago.
The Australia captain said: “What helps us is we’ve got a lot of guys that have been in this situation before that have won one-day World Cup, T20 World Cup, various other tournaments in big moments.
“You can draw on that in the middle of the contest. Obviously you start from scratch every time you play. They’re a team we’ve played quite a lot and know quite well.
“But this week it’s probably going to be quite different to say the South African series that we just played against them a couple of months ago.”
Australia memorably knocked out South Africa at the same stage in 1999 at Edgbaston, where a tied match went the way of Steve Waugh’s side because they finished higher in the group stage on net run-rate.
The finale is one of the most replayed of all-time as Allan Donald was chaotically run out, despite South Africa still having two balls in which to get the solitary run they needed for victory.
Cummins said: “It’s kind of folklore, isn’t it? I’ve seen that replay heaps of times, you hear the stories.”
Australia have steadily grown in confidence in India, emboldened by Maxwell’s rescue act against Afghanistan as his 201 not out secured a dramatic win and was widely hailed as the best ODI knock ever.
Marsh ensured a seventh straight victory with an unbeaten 177 against Bangladesh, so Australia will head into their Eden Gardens showdown with plenty of optimism.
Cummins added: “As a team you grow an extra leg because you feel like you can win a match from anywhere and having someone like Maxi in your team is just a complete luxury. He’s a superstar, he’s a freak.”