Coach says team isn't scared of defending champions

Moody tells Australia to mind their own business

Cricinfo staff

April 27, 2007

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Lasith Malinga is back after missing part of the Super Eights with an ankle problem © Getty Images

Tom Moody, the Sri Lanka coach, says Australia should keep out of the debate over Sri Lanka resting three bowlers during the Super Eights to keep them fresh for the finals. Ricky Ponting said Sri Lanka, who face Australia in the decider on Saturday, missed a chance to maintain their momentum when they left out Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga for the match on April 16, but Moody said the issue had nothing to do with Australia.

"The return shot is why does Sri Lanka have to be told who to play against Australia?" Moody, who won two World Cups with Australia, said in the Courier-Mail. "What is it to do with Australia who we play in a game which is essentially a dead rubber?

"The cricket world did not stick their nose into the fact that half the Australian team didn't tour New Zealand for the Chappell-Hadlee Series. That was Australia's choice. It is the way you prepare your players for a long World Cup." Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting had games off during the CB Series while Ponting and Adam Gilchrist did not tour New Zealand for the Chappell-Hadlee Series.

Moody was confident Sri Lanka could spring an upset in the final, despite predictions the pacy and bouncy pitch would suit the Australians. "I think we can win," he said. "What Australia has done has no relevance to Saturday. If Sri Lanka bring their A game it is good enough to beat Australia.

"The Sri Lankans have a huge amount of respect for Australia but are not in awe of the contest. They actually welcome that. During my time with the team it has never seemed they were in fear or starstruck about Australia."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method)
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