Originally Posted by shehanwije
Yes, it was ten years ago, it does not change the fact though - Aus lost an "already won" match after its heroics against WI in the semi...its still as relevant as RSA choking against Aus 8 years ago getting discussed over and over again....this low point from '96 in Aus cricket will be played out in the media and may also get into the Aus minds....this was the last time that Aus lost a "must win" game in the World Cup (choke?)
Aus are playing great cricket right now, but have not been tested in this cup (obviously not their fault). SL, whilst no longer the minnow it was in '96, will still be able to take in the surprise weapons in its bowling line-up after its tactics in the S8 round.
Aus are clear favourites to win the finals again, but like '96, the pressure may get to them...particularly if the Lankan bowling apply the blow torch early in the game.
Malinga, who Australia have seen to some extent anyway, is the only surprise to the Aussies though.
You're drawing a long bow to say SL have a secret weapon because they rested Murali & Vaas when they played the Aussies in the Super 8s. If they win, it won't be because of any "secret bowling attack". It would be like Australia resting McGrath, who's played against SL for over 10 years in all forms of the game and bowled 100s if not 1000s of deliveries to them, then saying that because he didn't play vs them 2 weeks ago, they haven't seen him and he's a "secret weapon".
If they beat Australia, it will be because they are better on the day. It will hopefully be a good match between two evenly matched sides who are very familiar with the way each other play.
As for Australia having ghosts form previous chokes vs SL, I think the fact that they've won 22 or 23 straight games in WCs, gone undefeated in 27 or 28 matches at the same tournament, and won the last two WCs probably indicates that any scars which they may have are probbly well and truly healed. Oh, and the fact that they beat SL in the WC semi 4 years ago may be fresher in their minds than the 1996 final.
As was noted on the semi-final thread this morning - as soon as teams start talking the psycho-babble stuff you have your proof that their opponents are already inside their heads and messing with them.
Generally, but not always, the best team will win.