World Cup 2007 April 28, 2007

Australia plan to attack Murali

Ricky Ponting wants wickets in hand during the middle stages of the final so they can attack Muttiah Muralitharan and the other Sri Lankan spinners.

"We can be a bit more aggressive and a bit more positive against them and try and put their slow-down sort of guys through the middle, put them under a bit pressure," he said in the Herald Sun.

Muralitharan told Brad Hogg during the week that batsmen can’t pick him. Robert Craddock says in The Australian Hogg’s wrong’un is close to being the World Cup’s most effective weapon. Craddock also profiles Tom Moody and looks at his stint coaching Sri Lanka.

In the Sydney Morning Herald Alex Brown writes how Australia-Sri Lanka clashes rate among the most spiteful match-ups in international cricket.

Simon Hughes, writing for Daily Telegraph, outlines the strategy Sri Lanka should adopt, suggesting that Muralitharan be introduced as soon as Ponting walks in.

Tim Lane says in The Age Australia are on the verge of domination not even achieved by West Indies.

Michael Clarke tells AAP facing Shaun Tait in the nets will help the Australian batsmen deal with the threat of Lasith Malinga.

Viv Richards tells Tait not to change a thing, Jon Pierik reports in The Australian.

"Tait has been reasonably erratic, but when you have an individual of that pace he is going to cause some havoc, as the South Africans found out," Richards said. "I would never, ever change the sort of action he has."

It’s Glenn McGrath’s last game of his record-breaking career and his column appears in The Hindu.

"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."

Jenny McAsey, writing in The Australian, looks back at Australia’s first World Cup triumph in 1987.

Showers are forecast for the final, according to Reuters.

Breeda Jayasuriya, mother of Sanath Jayasuriya, talks of his remarkable comeback after he retired last year from one-day internationals, in an interview to the Daily News.

Patrick Kidd, writing for The Times, pulls out some interesting figures since the 'long-drawn yawn' began 47 days ago.

Wars have been declared and ended in less time than it has taken to stage the 50 matches before today’s final

Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo