| warne: The war begins
Melbourne: Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne believes the Australians have a psychological edge over South Africa.
Australia does not encounter South Africa in pool matches but the defending champions and the hosts are tipped to meet in the semi-finals or final.
The wily leg-spinner was keen to emphasise the South Africans’ short-comings as the Australian team left Thursday for Johannesburg.
“We’ve definitely got a psychological hold over South Africa,” Warne said. “The results prove that in all the different forms and the major games we’ve played against them.
“When it’s got to the crunch, we’ve managed to beat them or they’ve been in a winning situation and we’ve come back to win.”
It was a none-too-subtle Warne reminder of Australia’s tied 1999 World Cup semi-final against the Proteas in Birmingham, in which a last-over run-out helped the Aussies advance to the final.
Australia has beaten South Africa in subsequent home and away Test series, with the memory of the 1999 World Cup an often used Aussie ploy to unsettle the Proteas in tight games.
Opener Matthew Hayden said the 1999 result would work to Australia’s advantage rather than South Africa’s, despite the fact the hosts would be desperate for revenge. But Hayden warned that Australia should also aim to create a fresh psychological weapon to beat South Africa, and may find it at this World Cup.
No handshake: ZCU
Teams playing in Zimbabwe will not be required to shake hands with President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe Cricket Union chief executive Vince Hogg has said. “The ICC has laid down the rules and they are quite clear,” Hogg said in Harare. (AFP)