The Web


World Cup 2003
Match Reports
Graphical Analysis
WC Format
Fantasy Cricket
Discussion Groups

Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Australia players' pen sketches

March 22, 2003 19:40 IST

Australia's probable line-up for Sunday's World Cup final against India (in batting order):


Wicketkeeper, vice-captain and destructive opening batsman with a marvellous eye. More baseball than cricket at times, often driving with an angled bat. Averaging 39 at the World Cup but, more crucially, scoring at faster than a run a ball. A real team player. Became the first man to be dismissed for 99 in a World Cup against Sri Lanka in the Super Sixes. Already popular, enhanced his reputation by walking in the semi-final, again against Sri Lanka.


Tall, powerful, hard-hitting left-hander. Not been at his best at the World Cup, with only one half-century, but still scored quickly. Stands well outside his crease to upset bowlers' lengths. Averages 51.60 in Tests, around 43 in one-dayers. Took three goes to cement his place in the side after making international debut in 1993. Drew comparisons, in terms of effectiveness if not style, with Don Bradman last year when scoring seven centuries in 10 Tests.

RICKY PONTING Skipper and attractive right-handed batsman. Scored 114 against Sri Lanka in the Super Sixes but otherwise failed to make big contribution with bat. Not put a foot wrong as captain, though, even if some people, particularly Steve Waugh fans, argue this is one team not requiring much leadership. Has impressed the men that matter, his team mates. Gilchrist says Ponting, a one-time drinker and lovable rogue, has grown so fast he is now ready for the Test captaincy. Averages almost 48 in Tests, almost 41 in one-dayers.


If Ponting strokes, Lehmann bludgeons. Hardly pretty, very effective. Hit a World Cup record 28 off the final over of the innings against Namibia in a 31-ball 50. Averaging 44.80, strike rate 82.35. Missed first match after ban for making a racist comment playing Sri Lanka. 94 ODIs but only eight Tests. Hard to dislodge -- 19 not outs in 85 one-day innings, including three centuries and 13 50s. Bowls useful left-arm spin.


Hard-hitting batsman, fine fielder, bowls occasional off spin. Yet to play a Test but one of the Australian finds of the Cup. Made a duck v England, otherwise has not been dismissed for under 50. Came to South Africa with two half-centuries in 54 one-dayers. Hit 143 not out off 125 balls v Pakistan, 91 not out v Sri Lanka. Averaging 163 at strike rate of 90.55. English-born but resisted England attempts to poach him earlier in career.


Top 'finisher' and organiser of run chases in world cricket. Very good worker of the ball rather than big hitter, but regarded as vulnerable to real pace -- hence 204 one-dayers but only 18 Tests. Averaging 49.33 in World Cup, 54.65 in ODIs. Bowls slow left-arm chinaman but has not delivered a ball in the World Cup. One of five players in the squad who played in the 1999 final.

IAN HARVEY Highly useful 'bits and pieces' player, bowling medium pace and a useful late-order hitter. Very effective first-class career (more than 300 wickets and eight centuries), but yet to play a Test. Chief benefactor of other people's misery. Only got into the squad when Shane Watson pulled out with a back injury, will only play in final if Damien Martyn's broken finger rules him out. Took a wicket with his first ball of the World Cup as he took four for 58 against Pakistan but has done little of significance since.


Turned 32 before Cup but most inexperienced member of squad. A real rarity -- a specialist left-arm wrist spinner. Appeared to have the impossible job of filling Shane Warne's boots but has quickly established himself, taking 12 wickets at 21.75. Livewire fielder and real enthusiast, forever smiling. Can bat -- has two first-class hundreds and 15 50s -- and scored 71 not out in ODI v England in last innings before Cup but failed to shine since, lowest average of the side with 8.40.


Right-arm quick and, after the World Cup perhaps, aspiring all rounder. Began tournament as reserve bowler but excelled in all departments, seizing the chance after Jason Gillespie returned home with a heel injury. Took 7-20, the second best analysis of World Cup history and the best against a Test-status side, to save Australia against England. Fifteen wickets at 9.33 apiece, the best average in the team, also the best economy rate of 2.97 an over. Averaging 117 with the bat before the final after scoring 34 not out, 64 and 19 not out, all on the tricky Port Elizabeth pitch.


Strike bowler. For many, the player of the tournament, yet amazingly still to win a man-of-the-match award. Consistently the fastest in the world, taken his 20 wickets -- equalling Warne's Australian World Cup record -- in dramatic bursts. Ended game against New Zealand with five wickets for three in 15 balls, then began next game against Kenya with a hat-trick -- the first by an Australian in a World Cup -- without conceding a run in 12 deliveries.


Usually the mainstay of the bowling but slipped to the sidelines despite 18 wickets at 14.33 and economy rate of 3.27. The drama of Lee, emergence of Bichel and departures of Warne and Gillespie have left one of the all-time greats in the shadows. Did make two headlines, however. Took 7-15, the best in any World Cup, in a record 256-run win over Namibia and ended a seven-year wait against New Zealand with his first World Cup runs, scoring three not out (made his tournament debut in 1996 but has only ever got to the crease four times).

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: good one

Boy! U guys put in a lot of sweat to keep us understand the game better.

Posted by Tariq


Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor

Copyright © 2003 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.