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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Aussies prefer England win against India

Brian Murgatroyd | February 26, 2003 11:32 IST

Australia coach John Buchanan believes an England victory over India in Group A on Wednesday would provide the defending champions with the perfect preparation for the World Cup's Super Six stage.

Should Nasser Hussain's team beat India in Durban, they would climb to second place in the group standings and then meet Australia in Port Elizabeth on Sunday in a battle for top spot.

"If England had not been going so well, there would have been nothing worse than going to Port Elizabeth with nothing to play for but now we will both be playing a major game with a lot of meaning to it," Buchanan said on Tuesday.

"If England beat India, we will be fighting them for top place in the group and that would be a fantastic lead into the Super Sixes for us.

"We have talked about the Zimbabwe match as the start of the second phase of the competition for us, with our first three games against Pakistan, India and Holland as the first phase.

"What we now want to do, after a good win against Zimbabwe, is to see that continue against Namibia and then hit England with things going well in a big game.

"Then, if we can play well in a match with things riding on it, we can take that feeling into the Super Sixes," he added.


For Australia, the desire to secure top spot in Group A is additionally significant as it would guarantee them playing their Super Six matches at their preferred venues.

"If we top the group, that would mean us playing at Centurion, Port Elizabeth and Durban -- and that is what we would like to do," said Buchanan.

"It means that, if we are playing well and we advance to the semi-finals, we would have already played at the venues for both those matches -- in Port Elizabeth and Durban."

Australia have not lost to England in a one-day international in four years and beat them six times in the recent tri-series that also involved Sri Lanka.

Buchanan was happy to dwell on statistics like that but was not sure they would count for a great deal when Sunday's match comes around.

"There will be some legacy of us beating them on a regular basis but it is a new tournament and they have got a new side," he said.

"(Michael) Vaughan has added that thrust for them, (Andrew) Flintoff, (Ashley) Giles and (Craig) White are back and (James) Anderson, who was only really finding his feet in the VB Series, is now playing with confidence.


"They showed in that series that they have got players that can beat, and now have beaten, the best sides and Port Elizabeth is their conditions with a low bouncing wicket and a small ground.

"So there are a lot of things that suggest they are a good side for us to play, as it will show us how well we are playing and where we are at that particular stage of the tournament."

Australia complete the tournament's first phase with matches against Namibia in Potchefstroom on Thursday and England on Sunday. Although Buchanan is content with his side's progress so far, he still believes there is room for improvement.

"We are travelling nicely at the moment but we are still short of where we can be, as was shown against Zimbabwe," he said, referring to Australia's seven-wicket win in their last cup outing.

"Defensively we let them in a few times with (Andy) Blignaut and (Heath) Streak, we missed a couple of run outs and there were some errors in the field. But we will tighten those things up.

"Everyone is in good shape fitness-wise and, having put the off-field controversies behind us, it is now down to cricket business," he added.

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Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: RE:Aussies prefer England win against India

I wish Australia gets beaten England and their game against Namibia washed out( Yeah I am dreaming), so that these Arrogant dopers can shut up. ...

Posted by Partha

Sub: Expect the unexpected Buchanan

John Buchanan's expectations to move into super six with england beating india..has a different insight. If England beats india..australia has a possibility to enter super ...

Posted by chiranjeev

Sub: Overconfident

Australia seems to be over confident and no wonder the coach is talking trash. They didn't really bowl well as it was written against india. ...

Posted by Senthil Kumar

Sub: comment on aussie coach

I think Aussie coach is under-estimating Indians calibre and expecting too much in the early stages of the tournament. there is lot to go further. ...

Posted by pavan kumar bhupati

Sub: Is it arrogance or over confidence

Did Australia already win the world cup? There coach definitely seems to think so and the world cup matches as a nets session. The ideal ...

Posted by pradeep


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