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October 5, 2005
After losing a match which showed that great players don't necessarily make a great team, Shaun Pollock, the captain of the World XI side that embarrassed itself with a batting performance worthy of minnows, said his team will have to play for pride to get back in to the three-match series.
"It was disappointing," Pollock said of the batting performance. "We discussed about taking responsibilities and roles but we didn't get it right. The guys are hurting, there is no doubt about that. We are going to have to play like one hell of a team to come from 1-0 down. The guys have a lot of pride and it is dented tonight so I expect the guys to be really motivated for Friday."
As the World XI restricted Australia to 255 for 8, Pollock was confident of a successful chase with his high-profile line-up. "We spoke at the break about partnerships and someone to bat through but there were quite a few soft dismissals and we didn't get going. Sometimes it's not that the fact you lose, but it's the manner in the way you lose and that we were seven or eight down for very little was disappointing."
Pollock refused to blame the team's limited preparation for the loss and said the team was here to win. "We're not doing it for the crowd or for show. We have to do it for ourselves. We enjoy each other's company and we want to play well and win. I don't think you've got to panic, they are good players and you've got to give them an opportunity to fight back.
"I don't want the guys to get down. It's no time for them to be hanging their heads and sulking. I think you'll see them lift quickly."
Ricky Ponting, however, was understandably delighted with the victory. "I've said all along that I still think we're the best cricket team in the world," he said. Criticised relentlessly since their return from the Ashes tour, Ponting's side were pleased to return to playing competitive cricket and to put the Ashes defeat behind them. "It's great to get out there and express ourselves the way we have. We've been looking forward to this for a while to play the brand of cricket we know we can play, so it's very satisfying."
He added: "We have worked very hard for the last few days and all the players were up for it. We always knew 250 would be a hard total to chase and, although we did drop a few chances, in the end it was a great allround effort."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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