The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Awaiting a ‘fascinating’ contest
- Shepherd, Bucknor set ot complete hattrick of Cup finals

Johannesburg: John Buchanan, the Australian coach, has been impressed with Team India’s recent performances.

“Both of us played Kenya but, while we weren’t at the top of our game (in the Super Six), India handed out a crushing defeat in the semi-finals... Obviously, today, your team is a lot different from the one which took the field in Centurion (February 15),” Buchanan told The Telegraph Friday afternoon.

He added: “Sunday’s final is going to be a fascinating contest and I, for one, am looking forward to it...”

Speaking about Damien Martyn’s fitness, Buchanan said a decision would “probably” be taken Saturday morning. However, he indicated Martyn (who has fractured his right index finger) wouldn’t be risked unless he was hundred per cent fit.

The Australians, by the way, had a full workout in the morning, after which Darren Lehmann interacted with the Media. He didn’t have much to say except ‘warn’ India about plenty of deliveries aimed at the body.

Actually, Lehmann needs to watch out for the Zaheer Khans.

Meanwhile, the respected duo of David Shepherd and Steve Bucknor will officiate Sunday — in fact, it will be their third successive final. While Rudi Koertzen is going to be the TV (third) umpire, Billy Bowden has been named fourth umpire. The last-named, a New Zealander, is understood to have earned high marks throughout the tournament.

[Incidentally, that Srinivas Venkatraghavan wasn’t assigned the Australia-Sri Lanka semi-final hasn’t gone unnoticed.]

Not surprisingly, Ranjan Madugalle will be the Match Referee Sunday. He had the same role in 1999 as well.

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