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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 08:48 GMT
Nathan Bracken column
Nathan Bracken
By Nathan Bracken
Australia seam bowler

After a poor finish to our summer with back to back losses to England, then a 3-0 loss to New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee trophy series, it became time for this Australian team to put up their hands and be counted.

There was no more time for questions - just answers. We had to improve our skills, knowledge and tactics to if we were to win the World Cup.

Bracken bowling against England
We know we have to play every game at 100 per cent to win

The perfect place to do this was the Caribbean island of St Vincent which we shared with Zimbabwe, Bermuda and England last week.

All teams went through their training paces and warm-up matches trying different ideas and theories and looking to spend some time in match conditions and it was also a great chance to have a look at wickets and adapt to the local climate.

During both games we experimented with different bowling options and fielding positions. One in particular that was noticed was Adam Gilchrist keeping up to the stumps against England.

This is a tactic that has been used in the past in many countries around the world, mainly at the end of an innings but with the flatter slower, slower wickets we encountered in St. Vincent it was used more.

You'll probably see us use it throughout the World Cup. With Adam up to the stumps, it stops the batters advancing down the pitch and helps us bowlers settle into our target areas more easily.


Injuries to members of our ODI team over the past 12 to 18 months gave us a chance to strengthen our bowling and batting stocks and players like Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait could play very big parts in the World Cup campaign.

Each one of them adds something special to the team but Tait is one of the fastest bowlers going around in world cricket and will play a key role for us during the tournament in the absence of Brett Lee.

Bracken, Stuart Clark and Shaun Tait
Enjoying the beach during some down time between matches

It is important we get off to a good start. Our first game is against Scotland, a team not to be underestimated with two former England players in Dougie Brown and Gavin Hamilton and a number of county cricketers.

We see each game as a stepping stone to the big prize and we are preparing and shaping up to hit the ground running - no slow starts!

The excitement is building as we get closer and closer to the first match and after arriving late at the 2003 World Cup due to an injury to Jason Gillespie, it is great to be here from the start this time.

The opening ceremony was sensational, seeing the displays of West Indies culture and superstars of music like Sean Paul and Shaggy performing.

Now, however, I'm thinking about the next 45 days of cricket to come.

All the top teams will be hard to beat. As we have seen in the last few months anyone can beat anyone if they play well and we know we have to play every game at 100 per cent to win.

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