Papering over the cracks
Cup win would make current team better than crop of 2007: Hilditch
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