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Aussies wary of both Pak and Windies, says vice captain Gilchrist

Pakistan's volatility and the Windies' self-belief makes it difficult to know who would be the more difficult opponent, Gilchrist said on Saturday.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Perth
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2005 09:36 PM IST

Pakistan's volatility and the self-belief of the West Indies are the unknown factors facing unbeaten Australia as they head towards the tri-series finals, Australia's vice-captain Adam Gilchrist said on Saturday.

Gilchrist, who will rejoin the Australian team for their final qualifying match against Pakistan at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground on Sunday, said both teams had the ability to upset the host nation.

Australia have already qualified for the best-of-three-finals which start next Friday but their opponents will be determined by the result of the final round-robin match between Pakistan and the West Indies in Perth on Tuesday.

"It's really difficult to know who would be the more difficult opponent," said Gilchrist, who will open the batting for Australia against Pakistan after a week's rest.

"If (captain Brian) Lara fires well the West Indies are capable of absolutely anything. They're still capable of a lot if Lara misses out as we've seen a few times whether it's this year or over in the West Indies.

"And Pakistan are just so unpredictable -- they've got real danger men.

"I don't think we are able to say one or the other would be a more suitable opponent and we have never functioned like that. We will get our momentum right and see who we have to befront again next Friday.

"I think everyone knows we were probably going to go down in Brisbane but rain saved us so who knows what a loss there would have done (to us) -- or a win for the West Indies," Gilchrist said.

He said the outcome of Sunday's match would not affect who Australia played, but it could have a psychological bearing for the other two teams leading into Tuesday's decider.

Pakistan in particular had endured a long and unsuccessful tour of Australia, losing their Test series 3-0 and struggling in most other matches.

"I think any tour you are weary by the end of it. I would imagine that a tour of Australia must be very demanding physically and mentally. It would be a tough tour," said Gilchrist.

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