WC 2003 - Mantra reveals Aussies intent to be ~~intimidation~~

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2003, 22:32 [IST]
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Durban: Like the Indians, who have adopted a motto of "now or never" to govern their campaign in this World Cup, Australians too have a guiding line which they chant almost religiously before every match. And knowing their professionalism, it is hardly surprising that the Australian mantra at this World Cup is a chilling "intent and intimidate". According to captain Ricky Ponting the team has been repeating these words at most team meetings."Most meetings we've had those words have come up," Ponting said. "They are words we have used and have worked pretty well."I think we can intimidate with our talent. I don't think there are too many sides that match us right down the list as far as talent goes. It's both psychological and skills-wise."Nine vanquished opponents, two centuries, three 5-wicket hauls, one hat-trick, two come-from-behind victories, and world records for winning streak, victory margin and bowling performance -- Australia has hardly put a foot wrong in this tournament. However, all this has not come easy. There were quite a few threats on the way, and Ponting said the team had benefitted from its slogan and raised its game every time it was faced with a difficult situation. "We would like to think we could lift our game up a little bit as we have been able to do in bigger-type contests for a long time now. The side has been able to lift itself and play at almost a different level."It's probably looked pretty easy but it hasn't been all that easy. Through this tournament there have been quite a few games where we've been in serious trouble. If we had lost a couple of those it could have been entirely different. "The first couple of games were very pleasing for us, we beat two very good sides (India and Pakistan) very easy. Since then we have had a few close encounters. We have been good enough to get ourselves out of very big holes." India, which was thrashed by Australia by nine wickets in a group match, have also lifted its game up several notches, reaching the semi-finals on the "now or never" mantra.Is it surprising that the psychologist engaged by India -- Sandy Gordon -- is the same who had guided Australia's campaign in the 1999 World Cup? PTI

Australias thoughts...a couple of steps ahead

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