Australia had a consistently superior record to South Africa in head to head ODIs in that period though, particularly in knockout matches. SA may have had better players in a head-to-head matchup, but there's no doubt that Australia had better players in pressure situations, and I think you underrate the leadership of Waugh compared to Cronje, given the impact that his leadership had in those two crucial matches in the '99 WC.
Warne, Bevan and Steve Waugh thrived under pressure in a huge way, while a handful of South African players really came apart pretty badly. Being the better side isn't just about consistently performing against all opposition, it's about performing when it counts and winning key matches.
edit: Incidentally, Ponting also averaged 40 odd going into that WC. More than Mark Waugh, in fact.
I know a place where a royal flush
Can never beat a pair
Last edited by FaaipDeOiad; 05-11-2006 at 07:51 PM.