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We have a huge advantage over Lanka

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CRUISING ALONG: The domination of the Australian cricket team, especially its top order, throughout this World Cup has been total, so much so that its bowlers have not even been required to bat. Photo: AFP
CRUISING ALONG: The domination of the Australian cricket team, especially its top order, throughout this World Cup has been total, so much so that its bowlers have not even been required to bat. Photo: AFP

The quest for higher goals is what has kept our hunger alive, writes GLENN MCGRATH

It seems like forever since our semifinal and we are really keen to get out there for this last game. I know it is my last game, but what that means has not yet hit home.

Right now I am preparing just like I would have for any other match. Perhaps I will realise I am well and truly out of the game, when Australia plays next such things do take time to register.

I have really enjoyed this World Cup, and am glad that I announced my retirement before it started. I have played with a sense of joy rather than any pressure, and perhaps that's why this has been my most successful World Cup.

Amazing run

I know that many are complaining about how one-sided this tournament has been, but we have had a truly amazing tournament.

There were fitness concerns, the loss of Brett Lee to injury and a five-loss streak when we came to the West Indies. All that changed once the matches began, and it gives us immense pride to see that we have won every one of our games with a huge margin something I had predicted would happen in one of my earlier articles.

The wicket at Barbados is the fastest track used in the World Cup, so we have a huge advantage over Sri Lanka.

They tend to struggle with the extra bounce, and with our pacers in such excellent form, the Lankans will really have to bat superbly to get past us.

It will be wonderful to have one last go at Sanath Jayasuriya as well. We have had some great encounters over the last 10 to 12 years, and it's important to get him out early on Saturday.

He is one of those players who enjoys the big match and the big stage, so it's important to minimise his role.

There is also Muttiah Muralitharan, who has been inspirational for his team in the crucial encounters. I know the wicket will not suit him as much as some of the other West Indian tracks, but he is a handful on any surface. Our batsmen have their plans for him, but they will have to execute them well to rein him in.

At present we are just enjoying the fact that we are playing our fourth straight final. We are confident that our good form will hold us in good stead for one more game. I personally have never felt better, and even though it's the World Cup we are all focused, it would be nice to finish as the top wicket-taker.

Absolute dominance

The other record I am keen on holding on to playing the fewest number of balls despite playing four World Cups. I have only faced four balls in World Cup cricket. What's more, in this World Cup, none of the bowlers have had to come out to bat; such has been the dominance of our top order.

Whatever happens in the final, I am proud to say that in every successive World Cup we have been able to raise the bar for ourselves. This team is better than 2003, and that team was better than 1999. This quest for higher goals is what has kept our hunger alive for the last decade. It's been a great unit to be part of, and I hope to contribute to a win in the final as a farewell gift to this great team.

Gameplan

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