Captain confident of final success after unbeaten run April 26, 2007

Ponting ready for Sri Lanka's rested bowlers

AFP



Lasith Malinga is back after recovering from his ankle trouble © AFP

Ricky Ponting insists Australia are ready for Sri Lanka's veteran bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas in Saturday's World Cup final in Barbados. Australia beat Sri Lanka easily in the Super Eights match but Mahela Jayawardene chose to rest Muralitharan and Vaas while Lasith Malinga had an ankle problem.

"Sri Lanka have a chance to make a statement against us," Ponting said after Australia secured their passage to the final with a seven-wicket win over South Africa. "There's no doubt Sri Lanka are a good team, but we are very confident after what we've done in the last seven weeks. Winning games with big margins gives us a lot of confidence.

"We executed our gameplan very well the last time we played them. They had their full batting line-up and we bowled them out. We know Murali will do what he does. Lasith Malinga is bowling well and Vaas is a good bowler with the new ball."

Australia have won all ten of their matches in the Caribbean and are unbeaten in their last 28 Cup games, a run stretching back to the 1999 tournament in England. Saturday's final in Barbados will be a repeat of the 1996 final when Sri Lanka beat Mark Taylor's side by seven wickets in Lahore.