Australia v India match factbox
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Australia v India match factbox

Factbox on the World Cup final between Australia and India to be played at The Wanderers on Sunday:

india Updated: Mar 21, 2003 18:53 IST

Factbox on the World Cup final between Australia and India to be played at The Wanderers on Sunday:

TEAMS: Defending champions Australia have been the side of the tournament, shrugging off a string of injuries and showing their versatility by winning three matches on a dreadfully slow Port Elizabeth pitch.

Only England, who took Australia to the final over of the match before losing by two wickets, gave them a fright. Andy Bichel, however, a reserve bowler before the Cup, showed the depth of their talent by taking seven for 20 before producing a string of impressive batting performances.

India came to South Africa with pretensions of being the best batting side in the world. Sachin Tendulkar has cemented his reputation as the best batsman of all, scoring a record 669 runs at 66.9 runs a visit but it has been the seam attack which has caught the eye. Javagal Srinath, back from retirement, has been majestic and left-armers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan have fed off him, the trio taking 49 of the team's 80 wickets.

FORMWATCH: Australia are in Cup-winning form, with 10 successive wins in a row as part of a world record 16 one-day international wins in a row.

India's result sheet shows nine wins out of 10. The best performance came against Pakistan, when Sachin Tendulkar was magnificent while Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid were solidly impressive. The 183-run destruction of Sri Lanka, meanwhile, showed Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra at their best, both taking four for 35. The mis-match against Kenya, however, looked like poor preparation.

HEAD-T0-HEADS: Everything points to Australia. They have won 11 of the teams' last 14 meetings, with 40 wins to India's 25 overall. In series of more than one match, Australia have won nine to India's three. But India have run the world champions close on neutral territory, with nine wins to 10 defeats.

KEY PLAYERS: Australia - Brett Lee, ridiculously, has yet to be named man of any match yet no batsman at the World Cup has relished facing him. He put England's Alex Tudor in hospital just before the tournament and has done the same to two more batsmen since. He has also equalled Shane Warne's Australian World Cup record of 20 wickets, at 18.15 apiece. His only rivals as out-and out strike bowlers were Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and New Zealander Shane Bond.

India - Sachin Tendulkar's meeting with Lee will be the focal point of the final -- top bowler versus top batsman. They both belong at The Wanderers. Tendulkar owns just about every World Cup and one-day runs records in existence and seems certain to do the same in the test arena. His final confrontation with Lee could decide the match.

PREVIOUS WORLD CUPS: Holders Australia are looking to become the first side to win the Cup three times. They first won in 1987 and were runners-up in 1975 and 1996. This will be their fifth final in eight tournaments.

India claimed the 1983 trophy with a shock win over West Indies in the final. Despite vast resources, however, they have not managed another final. Their low point came in 1996 when the semi-final against Sri Lanka was awarded to their opponents when the Calcutta crowd, braced for defeat, rioted.

VENUE: The Wanderers, Johannesburg. Capacity 30,000. For many years called the "New Wanderers", replacing the "Old Wanderers" when hosting its first match in 1956. First test was South Africa against England the same year. Stadium overhauled following South Africa's readmission to international cricket in 1991.

First Published: Mar 21, 2003 18:53 IST