WC 2003 - ~~We are far ahead of the rest, but not invincible~~

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting says the World Cup had exposed the huge gap between his side and the rest of the teams but did not think the Aussies were unbeatable.Ponting led Australia to a record third World Cup triumph on Sunday, second in succession, extending the team's winning streak to an unprecedented 17 matches. He said the convincing win in the final against "second-best" team, India, showed how far ahead the Aussies were of their nearest competitors."You have to realise that India is a very good side and we have beaten it pretty comprehensively. That in itself says we are a fair way ahead of what was the second best side in the World Cup," Ponting said.It spoke volumes about the "great depth and character" of the Australian side that it had won the World Cup without the services of match-winning performers, Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie, and just a year the legendary Waugh brothers were left out of the One-day squad."It says a lot. We have been really tested through this World Cup. But guys like Andrew Symonds and Andy Bichel have come in and put their hands up and performed brilliantly. It just goes on to show the kind of depth there is in Australian cricket," he said. Ponting, however, was reluctant to describe his side as invincible. "I am not one of those who believe in these things. For us it is important we do the things the way we want it and keep our standards high. It is maintaining our standards which interests me. I am not one of those who hanker a great deal about such titles," he said.Australian coach John Buchanan said there were many areas where the side needed to improve its standards. "There are quite a few areas where we need to do a bit of work. It is just that whatever others do we are doing a bitbetter and more consistently," Buchanan said."A lot of countries around the world are already looking deeply into the Australian way of performance and trying to imbibe our methods which is good and suggests that the gap would close in future. What we are trying to do is to increase the gap further so that Australia remains ahead of the rest,"he said. Ponting said the key to his side's success was that it had been able to raise its standards in the big games. "The Australian team tends to lift itself in big games. And we managed to do that again in the final. We took thingsto a new level," he said."The most pleasing thing about this World Cup is that we have done it all fairly quietly. We have gone about our business in the right way. Our preparation has been great. Our whole squad has been sensational." PTI

Somebody has to beat the Aussie says Ganguly
Aussies to get public reception in Perth: ACB
It's not money, it's the standards that is dear: Ponting
Catch us if you can: Buchanan
We deserved to win the World Cup: Ponting

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