|Player:||AC Gilchrist, MEK Hussey, DJ Harper, PA Nixon, JM Anderson, SE Bond, MJ Mason, SB Styris, JDP Oram, KD Mills, MR Gillespie|
|Event:||Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07|
DateLine: 21st January 2007
Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist insists the Australian squad is not complacent despite being undefeated in the tri-nations one-day international series with England and New Zealand.
The Australians continued their run of victories when they beat England at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday by four wickets. But they were forced to fight hard for the win despite bowling the tourists out for just 155. They lost six wickets in reaching the victory target of 156 and were in deep trouble at 108 for five before Mike Hussey came to the rescue and guided them home with an unbeaten 46.
It could have been even worse for the home side if umpire Daryl Harper had given Hussey out caught behind when the West Australian was on 19. The decision caused an ugly confrontation on the field between Hussey, English wicketkeeper Paul Nixon and bowler James Anderson, with Hussey admitting later he should have been given out.
Australia eventually cruised to victory and secured a bonus point to almost guarantee themselves a place in the final of the tournament and now travel to Sydney to meet New Zealand, who have lost both their matches so far.
Gilchrist hit back at suggestions the Australians were taking the series lightly and said good English bowling, a tricky wicket and poor shot selection were the reasons for Friday's poor showing.
"There's no complacency in this team - the competition for spots in our team is at the highest level and that in itself means our training sessions are really intense and at the top level, and that is being seen in what we do out on the field," Gilchrist said. "It was good for guys to be put under pressure, but never have I thought we were getting lazy or taking anything for granted."
However, the Australians will be eyeing World Cup places as much as their New Zealand opposition on Sunday. While the home side go into the match with everyone fit and in top form, the New Zealanders will be missing pace spearhead Shane Bond, the one bowler to consistently trouble the Australian top order. Bond is out with a back injury and his place has been taken by 32-year-old Michael Mason. The Black Caps are also missing key players Scott Styris, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills through injury.
Styris and Oram will rejoin the squad before New Zealand's clash with England in Adelaide on Tuesday, but Mills may miss the entire series. In Bond's absence Wellington fast bowler Mark Gillespie, who has impressed in the first two games of the series, will take the new ball.
"The new ball is what I know," Gillespie said. "I've done it all my life so the extra responsibility, I'll just thrive off it. You work on bowling plans to each batter but as far as their name goes, they're just another batter. As far as their superstar status goes, it doesn't worry me."
View all Current Events CLICK HERE