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Points or blank

Glenn McGrath, in an exclusive column for HT, says there can be only one winner, that’s Australia.
None | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2007 02:53 AM IST

It's shocking for us to hear about the tragic circumstances under which Bob Woolmer died in Kingston on Sunday. I have hardly interacted with Bob, but a lot of the South African players will be finding it hard to come to terms with this news, and the shadow of the events in Kingston will cast a shadow on our showpiece game on Saturday.

However, as sportsmen, it’s important for us to remain focused on the game at hand, and that’s exactly how our camp is approaching the game against South Africa. Games between these two teams have always been hard-fought affairs.

Our progress has been going according to script, and if we continue to play well, I don’t see us losing a single game, no matter who the opposition. As far as we are concerned, the second stage of the tournament will start tomorrow, because we will be talking about two points for each game from hereon.

The biggest plus is that Andrew Symonds has made a remarkable recovery from his injury. His recovery gives the team the rather tough task of taking a call between him and Brad Hodge.

With the batting looking pretty formidable, it’s our bowling that is going to be under scrutiny. Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken have looked good so far, and I am feeling pretty strong and fit at the moment. However, we will be coming up against a class batting line-up for the first time in a few weeks, so we will get a fair idea as to where we stand after Saturday’s game. Everybody knows that it’s a big blow to not have Brett Lee here, but this is an opportunity for the young bowlers to make a mark on the big stage.

The South Africans bat deep down the order, but we do have plans for their top players like Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis and the skipper Graeme Smith. If we execute these well, there is a good chance that our attack will be able to contain South Africa.

Tomorrow’s game will have an added edge because it will be between the top ranked team and the one they deposed. However, I would say South Africa are number one because we had a rough patch and not because they have played particularly outstanding cricket. As far as I am concerned, if we play to our full potential tomorrow, there can be only one winner and that’s our team.

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