Aussies not invincibles, will choke under pressure: Ranatunga
Ranatunga said on current form only the Sri Lankans looked to be the team which could halt Australia's unbeaten run in the tournament.Updated: Apr 16, 2007, 14:33 IST
The invincible aura about the Australians is more of a myth than reality, asserts former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who feels the World Champions will crumble if put under pressure by a quality opposition at the ongoing World Cup.
Ranatunga said on current form only the Sri Lankans looked to be the team which could halt Australia's unbeaten run in the tournament.
He called on current Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardane to follow the example set by the 1996 team, which upset the Australians in the final to clinch the World Cup.
"They play very hard when they get into the middle. I never agreed or approved but I realised that when teams give something back they get panicked. That is what happened in the 1996 World Cup final," Ranatunga was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"Australia are very good on verbal things, but when we were shouted at we used to give something back. They realised we were a threat. None of the Australians have been put under pressure, with India and Pakistan going out (of the tournament). That's why I want to see Sri Lanka put them under pressure," he said.
Lanakan coach Tom Moody echoed Ranatunga's views and said the Aussies played their game hard but dismissed criticism of their on-field behaviour.
"They have that aura. There is no question about that. They play a brand of cricket which is admired and respected. A lot of people call it bullying but I would not call it that," Moody said.