Ian Chappell picks the best performances on cricket's biggest stage

'There was no fear in Gilchrist's batting'

Ian Chappell on how Australia's opener set them up for their third consecutive title win (00:00)


Great World Cup Performances

'There was no fear in Gilchrist's batting'

Adam Gilchrist celebrates smacking a 72-ball hundred, Australia v Sri Lanka, World Cup final, Barbados, April 28, 2007
Adam Gilchrist: virtually indestructible © AFP

In the 2007 World Cup final, Australia reached the final on a string of unbelievable victories. From the Super Six stage from the 1999 World Cup, they hadn't lost anything - the semi-final with South Africa being a tie. They were then undefeated in 2003, and they got to the final to play Sri Lanka in 2007 without losing a match again.

So they were on a roll and were decidedly the favourites to win the final. Adam Gilchrist made sure that the favourites weren't going to be upset. There was all that controversy over the squash ball in the glove, which he said he used to help his grip. Whatever it was that he did, it worked because he absolutely blitzed the Sri Lankan bowling. And when you've got a batsman like Gilchrist at the top of the order, he can take the game away from the opposition in the first few overs, and that's exactly what he did.

One of the great things about his batting was that there didn't appear to be any fear in it. He would go in - the first ball, if he saw it and liked the look of it, then bang, he would hit it. And that would set the opposition back on their heels, and that's exactly what he did to Sri Lanka: 149 off 104 balls. That really is a hammering. He made absolutely sure that this unbelievable streak of unbeaten matches that Australia had gone through continued into the final.

Adam Gilchrist set Australia on the path to win their third consecutive World Cup final in 2007.

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