Pa­per­ing over the cracks

Cup win would make cur­rent team bet­ter than crop of 2007: Hilditch

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

AUS­TRALIA chair­man of se­lec­tors Andrew Hilditch says win­ning the World Cup would make this year’s squad su­pe­rior to the class of 2007 which ruth­lessly pow­ered to a third con­sec­u­tive crown.

Af­ter patchy wins against min­nows Kenya and Canada, Aus­tralia’s pur­suit of a fourth ti­tle in­ten­si­fies to­day when they face in­form Pak­istan in their fi­nal group match at the R. Pre­madasa Sta­dium.

The cur­rent out­fit has been dis­missed as vastly in­fe­rior to the all­con­quer­ing 2007 jug­ger­naut, which won 11 con­sec­u­tive matches and crushed Sri Lanka in the fi­nal on the back of greats Matthew Hay­den, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath.

But Hilditch is adamant clinch­ing this year’s tour­na­ment would rep­re­sent Aus­tralia’s finest hour at the World Cup.

" I t would b e a maz­ing, " s a i d Hilditch, who joined the tour­ing party last week.

" Real­is­ti­cally, when we won the third one, I dont think you went into it re­ally think­ing you’re go­ing to win three World Cups.

" I didn’t think in 2007 we could be bet­ter than we were in 2003, and we were al­ready start­ing to lose a few play­ers, but 2007 is prob­a­bly the best cam­paign I’ve ever seen.

" To win that un­de­feated was an amaz­ing vic­tory. ( But) If we man­age to pull this off, I think it would be even bet­ter than 2007, be­cause we’ve lost quite a few play­ers since 2007.

" We were ac­tu­ally go­ing in look­ing like sig­nif­i­cant un­der­dogs in 2007, and then we played the way we did.

‘‘ That was the great credit of that group. Amongst mas­sive crit­i­cism go­ing into the World Cup about how they were go­ing, they pulled it all to­gether and played bril­liantly.

" I think this ( 2011 squad) is to­tally dif­fer­ent. We’ve lost vir­tu­ally most of the side since that time, and the fact that we’ve con­tin­ued on the way we have done is great.

" This will be a mas­sive chal­lenge in these con­di­tions. They’re ob­vi­ously not our ideal con­di­tions and with this side, a fairly new side, it would be a great ef­fort fourth World Cup)."

Hilditch cap­tured the mood of the en­tire camp when he said it was time for the Aus­tralians to up the ante — start­ing against Pak­istan to­day. He also praised the ef­forts of pace trio Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell John­son af­ter the se­lec­tion panel came un­der fire for stak­ing Aus­tralia’s Cup suc­cess on raw speed.

" The World Cup starts ( to­day) for us re­ally, build­ing up to hope­fully a good win but also build­ing up to the quar­ter fi­nals," Hilditch said.

" The last two games prob­a­bly haven’t been as good a test for us as we needed.’’

( to win a

Andrew Hilditch

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