England v Australia, World Twenty20 final, Barbados
Australia Look Clean Sweep Against England in T20 WC Final16-May-2010 02:12:00 GMT
Barbados: Australia head into the World Twenty20 final against arch-rivals England at the Kensington Oval on Sunday desperate to win the lone major title that has so far eluded them.
It was at Kensington that Australia won the fourth, and third on the trot, of its World Cup trophies, three years ago when they beat Sri Lanka in a match now best remembered for being played out in farcical scenes of near total blackness after match officials misinterpreted the rules.
Until recently Australia -- who last year won the Champions Trophy in South Africa -- rather like England, have tended to regard Twenty20 as something of a sideshow.
Test skipper Ricky Ponting has now opted out of international Twenty20s while last year's first round loss under the star batsman at the World Twenty20 in England was brushed aside by coming during an Ashes tour.
However, Michael Clarke's team - which features several Twenty20 specialists - are determined to set the record straight and that, rather than the prospect of getting one over on England ahead of the Ashes series that starts in Australia in November, appears to be their main motivation.
"I'm stoked we are in the final," Clarke said Saturday. "We have come a long way in this form of the game. But we didn't come here to make the final; we came here to win the final.
"I think we have achieved a lot as a team, but it would be extra special tomorrow to top it off with a victory. It would be fantastic.
There's no doubt we'd be much happier leaving Barbados with that one last trophy we don't have just yet.
However, Clarke stressed victory on Sunday would be no consolation for Australia's 2-1 Ashes series loss in England last year.
"It won't make up for it, but it would be a fantastic start to what is going to be a great summer back at home," he said.
Australia were all but out of the tournament during Friday's semi-final against defending champions Pakistan in St Lucia yet won by three wickets thanks to a remarkable late run-spree led by Michael Hussey's boundary-laden 60 not out.
Afterwards, Clarke said the win was proof that Australia "never know when we are beaten" and the captain said his side could draw strength from that result, if required, on Sunday.
"I think we need to understand and accept that game's gone. But just keep in the back of your mind that what we showed the other day could happen out here as well.
In our minds, we need to be very confident that we're never out of the game; we always have a chance.
Australia have only changed their team once during the tournament, when Ryan Harris came in for the injured Mitchell Johnson, so don't expect them to get fancy at such a crucial stage. A return to Barbados means some excitement for the pace trio of Johnson, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait, who have combined for 31 wickets in this campaign.
Squad from Michael Clarke (C), David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (WK), Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Tim Paine (WK), Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, Daniel Christian, Cameron White, Ryan Harris
England No surprises anticipated in England's line-up, which has cultivated an air of solidity of which their 50-over team can only dream. With power-hitters throughout the top order, capable run-makers all the way to No. 10, and proper variety in their five-prong bowling attack, they've got the armoury to end their trophy drought.
Squad from Paul Collingwood (C), Craig Kieswetter (WK), Michael Lumb, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Michael Yardy, James Anderson, James Tredwell
Pitch and conditions
The Bridgetown surface has entered a timewarp in the course of the past fortnight. Long gone is the pudding on which West Indies racked up 750-plus in their Test against England last March, and in its place is a trampolinist's paradise that brings to mind the Marshalls and Garners of yesteryear. No venue suits the likes of Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson.
Stats and trivia
- England and Australia have met in three completed Twenty20 internationals to date, including the second one contested, at the Rose Bowl in 2005. England, memorably, won that contest by 100 runs after reducing their opponents to 31 for 7. But, as Ricky Ponting might have put it, Australia didn't take the format seriously back then
- Only two players on either side remain from that match - Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey for Australia; Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood for England.
- Since going out of the 2009 World Twenty20, Australia have won 10 of their 11 completed fixtures, with a Super Over defeat against New Zealand being their only setback. For England's part, their current run of four wins in a row is their hottest streak since the birth of the format
- Australia have fond memories of finals in Bridgetown - they beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs at the venue to lift the World Cup in 2007. But they fared less well in their only Twenty20 fixture in Barbados prior to this tournament. In 2008, they lost an 11-over thrash against West Indies, despite posting an imposing 97 for 3
Sunday May 16, 2010
Start time 11:30 local (15:30 GMT)