Australia v New Zealand, The Oval, Pool A

Australia are favourites, says Fleming

Wisden Cricinfo staff

September 16, 2004

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Andrew Symonds: 'I have to keep playing good cricket' © Getty Images
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After the game, the Man of the Match Andrew Symonds and the two captains spoke to the media:

Andrew Symonds

On his innings
I just wanted to play straight, and Damien and I both played it straight, which meant they had to try and get us out, which meant we would get some bad balls as they were under pressure to take wickets.

On his confidence My confidence comes from if I do things right early on in the innings. If I get that right and get about 20, I feel I can go on and take the game by the scruff of its neck. It's nice to give people that show some faith in you results. I want to play as many games as I can. I have to keep playing good cricket.

Stephen Fleming

On the match
Unfortunately the first 20 overs were our worst. In a match against such a good side you can't afford to fall a long way behind, and we tried to catch up too quickly, so you make it worse for yourself. We've done that before. It's all about the pressure and the tempo of the game, and we didn't get it right today. I think two or three things didn't go our way today, but often you need to play better for them to go your way. We couldn't put a partnership together until the end, and by then it was too late.

On whether Australia will win the tournament
I think there's some very good sides out there. I think Australia are favourites, there's no doubt about that, but on these one-off occasions it doesn't take much to be wrong for an upset to be caused. But Pakistan, with the talent they can harness, and even England, the way they played in the last series, are contenders. There's a lot of cricket to be played before we can get a winner, but I'd definitely say Australia are favourites.

On New Zealand's five-match losing streak against Australia in ODIs
It's a good run for them, but I'm looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and Australian conditions.

On the New Zealand team
We're very happy with the direction we're heading with this team. We've had a bad day today against the world champions, and by no means does that make us a bad side. We've had a good summer one-day-wise.

Ricky Ponting

On whether Australia are on a roll like in the World Cup
I don't think you can ever say "on a roll". We have not played that many games together. The fast bowlers today did a fantastic job and got us early wickets. It was a very good win.

On Glenn McGrath's return
He's going along quite nicely and his results will show that. I know he won't let the side down. He bowled beautifully today, and the first three wickets were everything to do with us winning the game. He's never going to let you down.

On whether Brett Lee will play in the semi final
All the fast bowlers today did a fantastic job. They will make it difficult for him. If we play Sri Lanka in the semi final, Brett has a very good record against them.

On Andrew Symonds
He gives us everything. He's the best fielder in the world. He has come a long way in his one-day cricket in the last few years. He can go in at any situation and do well.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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