WC 2003 - We know what it takes to win the Cup: Ponting

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2003, 2:27 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was banking on the big-match experience of most of his players to put it across India in the World Cup final on Saturday, saying his side had the temperament to raise itsgame under pressure."We have the players who have played in a World Cup final and certainly from our side we know what it takes to win the World Cup," Ponting said as his team prepared for a record third World Cup title.Six players in the current squad have played in a World Cup final at least once unlike the Indians, none of whom have such an experience. That his team had been able to pull itself out of crisis situation every time in this competition was also a reassuring fact for Ponting."We have played well. It isn't that we have just turned up and got ourselves in a World Cup final. We have had challenges and got our head to finish ahead of line," he said. "We have not been as consistent as we would have liked in the top (batting) order. We all have had our good moments but we have been inconsistent. We certainly look forward to do a better job on Sunday."Ponting was aware of the threat from Sachin Tendulkar, who has amassed a record 669 runs in the tournament so far, and said the team had a plan ready for the master batsman. "Sachin has been in very good touch but we are only trying to bowl a disciplined line to him. We will try to stick to our plans we have worked out for him," he said. Ponting said speedster Brett Lee formed a very important part of the plan against Tendulkar. "Brett Lee is pretty pumped up for the final. He has donedamage with the new ball. He has done the damage with the old ball as well," Ponting said."At the way he is bowling, I am sure every batting order in the world is susceptible to him at some stage." He felt the new ball would be a huge factor in Sunday's game and hoped that his pace bowlers would be able to create problems for the Indian batsmen."The new ball is a huge factor. We were able to rattle the Indians pretty effectively in Centurion and we look forward to doing the same on Sunday," he said referring to his team's nine-wicket win over the Indians in the group match in which India had been shot out for just 125 runs.Ponting, however, conceded that the Indian pacemen were also using the new ball to good effect and singled out left-arm seamers Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra for special praise."The two left-armers have been standouts, I think. Both have moved the ball and got it into right areas, which is very important in One-day cricket. India has played some great cricket leading into this final. It is confident at the way things are going and so are we," Ponting said. Ponting said a lot of hard work went into winning any match and there was no way his side could be complacent on Sunday. "It's a lot of hard work which goes into winning any cricket game you play. I will be surprised if people are complacent going into the final. We have done hard work andbeen rewarded for it."We have tried not to let the boys get too carried away in the final. I am not a superstitious captain and I dont think there are too many characters in the side who are either."Ponting said in case his side won the World Cup on Sunday, it would be the culmination of the hard work of all the players, the good wishes of the people back home as well as the cricketers who had been left behind."I wouldn't say we would dedicate it but we owe it to ourselves and others back home, not to forget cricketers like Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie and Shane Watson who are left behind." PTI

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