Aaron Finch's confidence about this Twenty20 World Cup never waned, even after a lopsided loss to England meant Australia were widely written off and dubbed "too old".
Finch's side and Pakistan square off in Dubai at 1am AEDT on Friday, with the winner advancing to a final against either England or New Zealand.
Australia's hopes of capturing their first men's T20 World Cup crown at the seventh edition of the tournament looked shot when a humbling eight-wicket defeat ravaged their net run-rate.
But it proved the team's only loss of the pool stage, with Finch quickly restoring momentum to set the stage for Australia's most important T20 contest since a semi-final at the 2012 World Cup.
The captain insists Australia weren't motivated by premature proclamations of their demise, first sparked by a slide to seventh on the T20 rankings after an understrength side suffered heavy series losses to Bangladesh and West Indies.
But Finch, who is yet to lock in an unchanged XI for the semi, admitted he found it "interesting how the narrative can change really quickly".
"We didn't speak about it at all to be honest. It's just one of those things that in the lead up to the tournament, you tend to hear things or see the odd quote," Finch said.
"Everyone had written us off.
"About 10 days ago our team was too old and now we're an experienced team.
"From day one, I've had a lot of confidence in the way that we've gone about this with the squad that we've got. I don't think that we've exceeded our expectations whatsoever.
"We came here with a really clear plan to win this tournament and we're still alive to do that."
Finch, who will celebrate 10,000 T20 runs at franchise and international level with a score of 25 or higher, noted lifting the one men's trophy to have eluded Australia would "mean a lot".
"But we've still got a semi-final to focus on," he said.
"Pakistan are playing really good cricket, so it'll be a great test."
Coach Justin Langer is expected to stick with an unchanged side, backing a combination of Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis to deliver a combined four overs.
Langer's stated preference is to pick five specialist bowlers but he has only used that tactic once at this tournament, when Australia axed Marsh and were thumped by England.
The fact Pakistan have five right-handers in their top six is arguably extra fodder in the case for left-arm spinner Ashton Agar to be recalled.
Finch noted Australia will "consider everything" and settle on an XI later.
But the opener downplayed the prospect of making changes based on the opposition.
"If we get seduced into looking purely at match-ups, you probably go away from your own strengths quite a bit," Finch said.
"You take all the information in and make a judgment call.
"But you have to look ... at what we do really well and stay true to that.
"We've got the three allrounders ... that's given us a lot of confidence to go in with four specialist bowlers."