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Aussies ooze confidence

Martin Gough | 18:25 UK time, Friday, 27 April 2007

Martin GoughBarbados – Glenn McGrath has been non-committal about his plans after his retirement on Saturday but, on the evidence of the last few weeks, he could always form a comedy double act with Ricky Ponting.

Perhaps they could reprise the Morecambe and Wise routine that takes place with them both in a double bed in their pyjamas.

Media conferences have seen the duo bouncing one-liners off each other throughout. On Friday, with one of the biggest games of their lives less than 24 hours away, there were digs at Ponting’s golf game and McGrath’s work-rate in the nets, among others.

In front of two banks of television cameras, they were as laid-back as if they were still on the golf course, as Aussies have been in situations like this throughout the tournament.

It is a symptom of their hyper-confidence but I don’t think it is arrogance. They have arguably worked harder than any other side on making sure they are as ready as they can be.

They are certain that, if they are at their best, they will be too much for any team in the world.

Coach John Buchanan’s long-term planning had them working for up to three hours per day in the gym in February – one of the reasons they lost the home one-day series to England.

And their programme has been designed to bring them to a peak for the final fortnight of the tournament.

Reaching their fourth successive World Cup final was never the goal, of course. They want to go one step further and have continued to work on the minutia.

The favourite maxim of English rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, who spoke to the Aussie side three weeks ago, was that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

On Friday Ponting and Matthew Hayden, the tournament’s leading scorer, went through net sessions which either involved bowling coach Troy Cooley delivering at a 45-degree angle or facing a bowling machine set lower than usual.

They were aiming to replicate the unorthodox action of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, who last faced Australia almost three years ago, in two Tests in Darwin and Cairns, when he took 10 wickets in all, including Ponting once and Adam Gilchrist twice.

Barely half an hour after completing victory over South Africa in Wednesday’s semi-final, Michael Clarke was able to talk in detail about the action of a bowler he has never faced, based on the video footage he had already watched.

McGrath hopped off the bus with a smile for his last-ever training session, and to be honest didn’t do much more than kick a football around and have a look at the wicket. He knows he has done everything he needs to do.

That wicket, by the way, is the one used for the Super 8 game between England and Bangladesh, when it offered wild bounce early but baked into a spinner’s paradise as England struggled to knock off the runs.

“The pitch didn’t make it difficult – England made it difficult,” said the groundsman I spoke to.

However, the choice between batting first against Malinga or Shaun Tait, or batting second against Muttiah Muralitharan or Brad Hogg will be an intriguing one at the toss.

No doubt Ponting and McGrath will have their game faces on by then.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:00 AM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

Marty, you going soft on me here. I have coined a new phrase - ATHLETIC ARROGANCE. Please feel free to use it.

It does not mean that one is a snob. It's when an Athlete knows and feels in his heart that whenever the circumstances he will win. Even when he is down 2 sets and 5 love in the third, he feels he can win. All the great Athletes and teams have it. Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams.. they all have it. The West Indies team of the 80's and early 90's had it and the Australians for the past decade and a half has it.

I believe that the Sri Lankans are peaking at the right time and the match against South Africa was a turning point for them. Yes they lost, but what they learned about themselves during the last 4 overs of that match is something that you cannot teach. India found it in Berbice (Guyana) several months prior to the 1983 final against West Indies at Lords. Pakistan found it against against New Zealand prior to their World Cup glory and I believe that Sri Lanks found it against South Africa at Providence, Guyana.

I am telling you Marty. Sri Lanka is the team with the "Eye of the Tiger" at this moment. Every good reign must end sometime. West Indies hurrah ended at Lords in 1983. Australia will fall at Barbados in 2007.

I'll even pick the MVP... SANGAKKARA.

You heard it here first Marty.


  • 2.
  • At 10:29 AM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • 4th time champs wrote:

good article sir

sangarkara mvp ? what

it has to haydos

well wait is over now ......................

wc 2007 has autralia name all over it...

go aussie go

  • 3.
  • At 11:14 AM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • Jayantha Wickramasinghe wrote:

Good luck to both teams, Aussies are the favourites, but Sri Lanka is going to upset McGrath's party.

  • 4.
  • At 01:13 PM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • Simon Clements wrote:

Well I don't wish to upset you guys but Sri Lankas
best equates to half of what Oz has displayed to
date. Therefore I'm picking Australia by 110 runs
plus or 5 wickets plus. Thats the form to date.

  • 5.
  • At 01:13 PM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • Ramesh Carvalho wrote:

Dear Martin,

Only Aussies ooze confidence?

We'll wait and see how they ooze confidence against bowlers like (bowling order) Vaas, Malinga and Murali.

Remember my earlier comments which I posted against Joathan Agnus's Blog is proving to be correct so far and I'm confident it will be the same after todays Final Match. I'm positive that Sri Lankans will rattle the Australians to force them for the first loss of the tournament providing umpiring decisions are nuetral unlike in the Semi Final's against New Zealanders.

Sri Lankans had done it before by snatching the 1996 World Cup from Aussies. We just needed a repeat performance.

I can't wait to see "Comedy of Errors" featuring Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting.

Good Luck Sri Lanka!!!

Ramesh C.

  • 6.
  • At 01:32 PM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • wastwhg wrote:

sri lanka will crumble under the pressure and the finest team of all time will march on. it wont be a stroll but it wont be very close either.

RISE & SHINE Dahlings'
As I type away ... the morning SUN in all it's splendiferous healing elements ... has yet again, outdone itself. While, the bunch of tiny songbirds chirp mellifliously away. All's well in my corner!
OK! The auspicious day has arrived: World's favored top notch TWO: *AUSTRALIA & SRI LANKA* GRRRRR....teams pummel each other via Ball & Bats for the trophy! May the gods bless both of YA! SHOW us how eloquently the CUP lands in your [respective] blessed Team lucky hands!
Best wishes,
Fan Guyana

  • 8.
  • At 02:47 PM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • stef wrote:

sri-lankas gonna win, australia is too vain, they are ganna be surprised today espiecially as they haveny played the 3 best wicket takers for a while. its time somebody who deserves it holds the cup, but australia are in good form too. all im saying is while australia has been the top they didnt need to progress but better watch out because srilnaka has moved from 4th to 2nd in the worlds best.

#5- Ramesh Carvalho wrote:

Dear Martin,
"Only Aussies ooze confidence?"

>>>Not to worry, Ramesh. Every once in a while, OUR dear Martin seems to have a lapse of "MYOPIC - MOMENT." ; o )
"We'll wait and see how they ooze confidence against bowlers like (bowling order) Vaas, Malinga and Murali."
>>>Yeah, the OOZY THREE from SRI: [MALINGA ... MERENGUE & MARGARITA] in that order. Yes Maan! CHEERS!
Best regards,
Fan Guyana

yes srilanka will be win the final match of the worl cup 2007
becouse cricket world cup champion
good batin and bowling also

and goo corparete als
ok bye
thoppur srilanka

  • 11.
  • At 05:06 PM on 28 Apr 2007,
  • Ainsley wrote:

Is there any chance the match in Barbados will commence today/
what does the weather/field look like?

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