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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 09:28 GMT
Chance to play perfect game
Darren Lehmann
By Darren Lehmann
Australia batsman

The older guys in the team see Sunday's World Cup final as their last chance to win the biggest tournament in the game.

I think it's fair to say this is the last World Cup for many of us.

We will go pretty hard at them - they don't like the bouncers
And, whether as a spectator or as a player, you want the final to be played between the two best sides.

India and Australia have clearly been the outstanding teams this time around.

I know the players are happy to meet India in the final as you want to beat a quality side to win the World Cup.

We have been working harder as each game has gone, but we have not yet played the perfect game.

We have said we always wanted to do that in the final and now is our chance.

A lot of people are tipping India and obviously we hope they have got it wrong.

We realise it is a danger game for us but we beat them convincingly not far from here at Centurion earlier in the tournament.

The important thing is to put pressure on their batters, I think that is the key.

We reckon if we can get Sachin Tendulkar early we are half way to keeping them to a low score.

Australia's Darren Lehmann
Lehmann has scored over 200 runs in this tournament
It's fair to say they have many other good players and we do have individual plans when we bowl to them.

But we will go pretty hard at them - they don't like the bouncers - and it certainly looks like it will be a good bouncy pitch.

That is something we will definitely use to our advantage.

The three Indian seamers have bowled better as each game has gone so our job is to combat them. But we have to score runs off them too.

Other teams have too often let them dictate terms a bit which is a big mistake. I freely admit India have had a good tournament but we must just concentrate on what we are good at.

Since August last year it's been cricket non-stop for many of us. We have literally been playing for months on end.

But we play for our living as well as our enjoyment and the way the ICC determine our programme we have to cram a lot of games in.

Back home in Australia they will be just as disappointed as us if we lose.

We just have to tell ourselves that we have done a lot of the hard work but now is the time to pull out all the stops.

And yes, it is the World Cup final, but the best thing is to treat it like another game.


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