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Martyn, Bichel racing against time

Batsman Damien Martyn and fast bowler Andy Bichel were racing time to prove their fitness for Sunday's World Cup final against India at the Wanderers on Sunday.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2003 17:58 IST

Batsman Damien Martyn and fast bowler Andy Bichel were racing time to prove their fitness for Sunday's World Cup final against India at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Martyn is still recovering from a week-old fracture in his right index finger while Bichel has a problem with his bowling shoulder.

Both players came out unscathed from fitness tests Saturday but skipper Ricky Ponting said the final decision will be made before the start of the game.

"Still up in the air at the moment," said Ponting. "Martyn and Andy Bichel have done everything we have asked them to do today.

"Both had a good workout. Bichel had a very good workout and Martyn had a good hit and a good field. We'll wait and see how they pull up.

"If they're right they'll definitely play."

Ponting said Bichel's injury wasn't too serious but the bowling allrounder needed some rest.

"He bowled off his long run in the nets for quite a while and everything seems to be OK."

Ponting said Martyn, 31, will replace allrounder Ian Harvey if he's fit in the only change Australia is expected to make to the lineup that beat Sri Lanka in the semifinal at Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Bichel, 32, has been the unsung hero of the tournament so far and if he fails the fitness test it will come at a cost to the defending champions.

Bichel had starred with both bat and ball for Australia in Port Elizabeth, taking a career best 7-20 and figuring in a match-winning stand help the Aussies edge England in a Group A match.

He followed it up with a career-best 64 against New Zealand in a Super Six match after the innings had plunged to early trouble at 84 for seven.

On the other hand, Martyn has hit three half centuries in scoring 235 runs before he suffered the injury against Kenya in the final Super Six match in Durban.

First Published: Mar 22, 2003 17:58 IST