Pretoria: However unbeatable Australia might seem to be, they have to guard against all surprises. At least their skipper Ricky Ponting thinks so.
“We need to keep working hard and put pressure on our rivals,” Ponting said after the 96-run victory against former champions Sri Lanka on Friday, which secured their place in the semi-finals.
Australia have now stretched their unbeaten World Cup run to 14 matches, which includes the tied semi-final against South Africa four years ago.
They have also won every game in the past two months. However, Ponting remains modest: “We can, of course, be beaten,” he said. “We came very close to it against England last week. It didn’t happen then, but probably will if we don’t keep working on our game and take it easy,” he said. Ponting said the Australian side was playing near its best. “It’s a great team, but then the 1999 side was pretty good. I’m not going to go into comparisons with past one-day teams,” he said.
He confirmed that the Australians would keep up the attack in the remaining Super Six matches against New Zealand and Kenya despite being guaranteed a semi-final spot.
“We’ve still got to keep doing our things, execute the plans and keep the opposition under pressure,” he said.
Ponting said he was expecting a keen contest in the next game against arch-rivals New Zealand in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. “New Zealand has been playing some good cricket,” Ponting said. “They’re a good side with a number of allrounders and potential match-winners.”
The Australian skipper said he watched his New Zealand counterpart Stephen Fleming’s match-winning century against South Africa and couldn’t stop applauding the stroke-play.
“I saw Stephen’s knock on television, it was a brilliant innings. He’s a batsman in form and can be a big threat,” Ponting said.