Originally Posted by Slats4ever
to be fair i think australia had the best team in 99! they won I think, and they also won about 7 in a row when their backs were to the wall.
Firstly Australia didnt win 7 in a row in that world cup. That is a misconception. The Aus-SA semifinal was a tie, they didnt win that game. They won 5 in a row(1 against bangladesh and another against zimbabwe).
As for Australia being the better side, i think if you made a direct comparison, you'd see that SA had far and away the better players. SA were batting all the way down to number 9 or 10(Boucher was coming in at 9), while Australia were batting down to 7(really 6 if you consider that moody was down at 7). Kallis back then was in his prime with the ball and averaging over 40 with the bat, Klusener was the player of the tournament, Cronje and Kirsten were both averaging 40, Rhodes was as brilliant as he always has been, and Gibbs, Cullinan, Boucher and Pollock are hardly bad players either.
Bar Mark Waugh and Bevan most of the Australian batsmen were averaging in the mid to low 30s, some like Martyn and moody were averaging in the 20s at the time.
The bowling was a little bit more even with Mcgrath, Warne and Fleming matching Pollock, Donald and Elworthy, but Reiffel was at the fag end of his career and was definetly no where near the class of Kallis and Klusener.
Fielding wise SA were by far the better team.
Cronje was easily a better captain than Waugh especially with Bob Woolmer by his side.
Looking at their respective records going into the tournament, SA were easily the better side.
Theres absolutely no way anyone can claim with a straight face that Australia had the better players. No one matched the SA side in terms of the quality of their players and the depth of batting, bowling, fielding and number of all rounders.