WC 2003 - Injured Gillespie to miss Australias clash vs England
Published: Saturday, February 8, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Australia on the verge of 12th consecutive ODI victory
Port Elizabeth: Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie will miss the world champions' final World Cup Group A game against England at St George's Park on Sunday.Gillespie, whose career has been ravaged by injuries, is still suffering from an Achilles problem and is not being risked in a game where Australia will be looking for a record 12th successive One-day International win.Skipper Ricky Ponting said Australia will field the same team which trounced Namibia by 256 runs at Potchefstroom on Thursday with Brett Lee sharing the new ball with Glenn McGrath.Australia has already qualified for the Super Sixes with five straight wins, while England needs a victory to keep its hopes alive."Gillespie's still got inflammation in his Achilles," said Australia captain RickyPonting, referring to the injury that sidelined the paceman from his side'srecord 256-run thrashing of Namibia in Potchefstroom on Thursday. "It's a little bit of a worry that he said the injury was worse today than it was afew days ago. I don't think it is too much of a concern," added Ponting whoseteam has won all the five group matches so far and qualified for the SuperSixes ahead of Sunday's game."Brett Lee will take the new ball. When you bowl at Brett's pace, over 150KPH, there aren't too many batsmen good enough to pull you."Ponting admitted he was concerned by the sight of Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtarbreaking the 100 MPH mark earlier in the tournament as it could goad Leeinto trying something similar to the detriment of the team."I don't like it at all. I don't want Brett just to bowl as fast as he can for the sakeof it. But he's grown up a lot and is more mature now," Ponting said.Australia has strolled through the World Cup thus far and Ponting agreed theycould have done with some tougher encounters. "We haven't been put under pressure, we haven't been made to work hard forour wins. It's a little bit of a concern but it's something we've spoken about,"he said.Earlier on Saturday, England captain Nasser Hussain said his team still hadtwo or three niggling injuries including batsman Michael Vaughan's calf butthat everyone should be fit to play.He added that spinner Ashley Giles could be recalled after England, with anall-pace attack, went down to an 82-run defeat against India in Durban onWednesday.Despite its midweek loss, Hussain insisted his team could stop the Australianjuggernaut."They are a great side. But we just have to play like we did in Melbourne andmake sure we finish off the game. We, of all the sides recently, have givenAustralia a good game."The sides that have done well against Australia, like New Zealand, have putthem under pressure so their players can't express themselves. That'sdefinitely the way to beat them."Hussain has said he will consider his future as England captain after theWorld Cup and Sunday's match could, therefore, be his last as skipper if theteam is knocked out.But Hussain insisted, "It's not about me: it's about England. We have to beatAustralia to stay in the tournament. It's as simple as that."