Special Match Feature by Shane Dell 23/03/03
As the Aussies take on India at The Wanderers in tonight’s 2003 World Cup Final, we have prepared this comprehensive Head to Head guide for you to compare the teams.
Matthew Hayden: 291 runs 32.33 Av
Haydo has looked uneasy during the tournament and has not scored as well as expected. Should lift for Final.
Sachin Tendulkar: 669 runs 66.90 Av
The master blaster is in the best form of his career. This is the man the Aussie’s MUST stop to win this match, something they have not been able to do for the last 10 years.
Adam Gilchrist: 351 runs 39.00 Av
His batting success has been mixed, but his keeping has been very good and he has helped keep the players focussed during all matches. Expected to score well at The Wanderers where the conditions suit his batting style.
Virender Sehwag: 217 runs 21.70 Av
Big things were expected from him before the tournament began, but to date he has not really delivered. As good as Tendulkar on his day, but susceptible to the short pitched ball. Opposing bolwers have been able to set him up very easily so far. If Sehwag gets going with Tendulkar and can score big, this match will be all over bar the shouting.
Ricky Ponting: 275 runs 34.38 Av
The Punter has shown very good captaincy skills right throughout the tournament. Slow pitches have somewhat nullified his batting ability, but with the ball expected to come onto the bat in the final, he will lead from the front with dashing stroke play.
Rahul Dravid: 272 runs 68.00 Av
Has batted well during the matches so far and is more than capable of a very big score. Bats by the book and often has trouble adapting. HIs wicket-keeping skills are probably the worst of any world keeper. Not likely to trouble the Aussie pacemen.
Darren Lehmann: 224 runs 44.80 Av
Boof has done well without setting the world on fire. The pace bowlers appear to have his measure and have concentrated outside his off stump causing Lehmann to go “fishing” with an angled bat and subsequently losing his wicket. The Indian seamers will have noted these basic faults in his batting and should be able to capitalise on them.
Sourav Ganguly: 441 runs 63.00 Av
On fire with the bat and in form big time at the moment. Has the capacity to psychologically irritate the Aussies and is expected to perform very well in the final. Capable of hanging around all day if necessary.
Andrew Symonds: 326 runs 163 Av
Symonds has been the team saviour at least twice in this tournament and his solid stroke play will suit The Wanderers wicket. Hasn’t done much with the ball, but the batting has made up for this. Expect a big show from Symonds in the final.
Yuvraj Singh: 216 runs 36.00 Av
Has done well this tournament, but is susceptible to spin through his lack of footwork. The Aussies will no doubt throw everything they have at him in the spin department and if runs are slow coming, he may just make the forced mistake.
Michael Bevan: 148 runs 49.33 Av
Has batted very well when needed and is the man that can ensure a solid finish for the Aussies. If the team is in trouble, Bevan is the man capable of leading a revival. Should have no trouble against the Indian bowlers.
Mohammad Kaif: 182 runs 22.75 Av
A slow starter who has not delivered in the early matches. The Aussies believe they know how to get him and as a result, he is not expected to have any impact on the final.
Damien Martyn: 235 runs 47.00 Av
Has batted well, but is unlikely to make the team for the final as a result of broken finger.
Danish Mongia: 108 runs 21.60 Av
Has struggled outside India and is looked on as one of the weak links in a dominant batting side. Will be troubled by the Aussie pacemen and is expected to be an early scalp.
Ian Harvey: Bat 66 runs 22.00 Av - Bowl 8 wickets 19.63 Av
Has performed very average so far and had great trouble with the pace bowlers. A very good mid order bowler on his day and capable of great fielding skills. Looks out of place in this team and not expected to worry the Indians at all.
Harbhajan Singh: 9 wickets 31.77 Av
If the Aussie’s underestimate the bowling ability of ‘The Turbanator’ they may regret it. Has not set the tournament on fire, but always lifts a notch when playing the Australians, most of whom cannot pick his wrong un (doosra). Will generally pick up wickets with balls that skid on quickly. Expected to play a big part in any Indian victory.
Brad Hogg: 12 wickets 21.75 Av
Replaced Warne as the Aussies front line spinner and has done very well indeed. Most batsmen are having trouble reading his flipper and wrong un. Expected to do well in the final where the pitch will take spin later in the match. Could be one of the Aussie’s trump cards, as the Indians have not seen much of him.
Ashsish Nehra: 15 wickets 15.50 Av
Huge improvemnt from this bolwer recently has seen him instrumental in many Indian victories. Capable of swinging the ball a long way and if he is not over awed by the final atmosphere, should produce an awsome spell of bowling. One of India’s keys to a final victory, as several Aussie batsmen seem suspect to swing bowling.
Brett Lee: 20 wickets 18.15 Av
Has come of age during this campaign and skittled the top order of all opponents with his thunderbolts. Will trouble the Indian batsmen no end and is THE trump card that should lead to an Aussie victory. Expect Lee to be under instructions to intimidate Tendulkar and the Indian top order.
Zaheer Khan: 17 wickets 18.05 Av
Has generally struggled against the Aussie top order, but overall had a very good tournament. His left arm seamers will trouble the Aussie batsmen and Zaheer must perform of India is to win this match.
Andy Bichel: 15 wickets 9.33 Av
Has starred for the Aussies and been instrumental in several wins to date. When the pressure is on, he is more than capable of keeping the run rate down and should perform well against the Indian middle order.
Javagal Srinath: 16 wickets 17.82 Av
The old war horse may have lost some pace with age, but his accuracy is deadlier than ever. With the new ball in his hand, he just might skittle several major scalps and take India over the line.
Glenn McGrath: 18 wickets 14.33 Av
His line and length outside off stump may bring the Indians undone early if they attempt to smash him. Totally focussed as usual and expected to lift a notch for the final and display the aggression he is renowned for.
Anil Kumble: 5 wickets 21.40 Av
Has struggled during this World Cup and is not expected to make the final team.
Situated in Johannesburg South Africa, The Wanderers known to locals as “The Bull Ring,” is capable of seating around 32,000 cricket fans. With a pitch similar to that found under Australian conditions, it is likely to favour the Aussies more, but may come into play for the Indians later in the match due to it’s propensity to take late spin.