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Last Updated:  Friday, 14 March, 2003, 07:57 GMT
Australia's winning mentality
Darren Lehmann
By Darren Lehmann
Australia batsman

Who says lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place?

Bev and Bicho - the same combination that somehow got us out of trouble against England - did it again against New Zealand.

People might automatically point at our dashing strokemakers and quick bowlers when making us favourites for the World Cup.

But it was those performances in Port Elizabeth that tell you more you more about this Australia side.

We'll be putting out our strongest side which, you would expect, would be too much for the likes of Kenya.
Darren Lehmann

It wasn't that we expected to win those matches from 112-7 and 84-7, but we certainly hadn't given up hope.

I've said all along that Australia are beatable. It's just that we don't seem to know what a losing position is.

Probably the most surprising thing about the New Zealand match was that we were seemingly down and out and ended up winning by 96 runs - an amazing performance.

The win against England was better because there we really did seem beaten.

Given that we didn't bat badly against New Zealand it took an enormous amount of resolve to hang on.

Bond was excellent, as he has been before against us. Our top order were genuinely bowled out, just as the Kiwi batsmen couldn't cope with Glenn McGrath at the start and Brett Lee at the end of their innings.

What I would say, however, is that the authorities had better have a good look at the Port Elizabeth pitch.

It was a slight improvement on the strip on which we played England but it was still substandard.

Struggled

We are playing a semi-final there and for everyone's sake - not least the crowd who want to see 250-plus scores - we're hoping for a big improvement.

With only Kenya to face before the semi-finals, it's a simple equation from here.

If we remain unbeaten from here we'll have won the World Cup.

We're certainly not taking anything for granted against Kenya.

But given that it's our last chance to hone our skills before the knockout stage, we'll be putting out our strongest side which, you would expect, would be too much for the likes of Kenya.

Kenya had a bit of luck with New Zealand's decision not to travel to Nairobi but they are in the semi-finals on merit.

It just shows what you can do by playing good, disciplined cricket and supporting each other in the field.

We haven't forgotten how we struggled against them last year.

We played them on a slow turner in Nairobi and only just squeezed home by five wickets in the last over.

If you give them room they'll take it.


SEE ALSO
Have Your Say on Australia
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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