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News

Australia eye up quick finish in Melbourne

Australia will be hoping that the psychological advantage gained by their crushing victory in the first VB series final will enable them to finish the job at the earliest opportunity at the MCG tomorrow.

Stephen Lamb
24-Jan-2003
Australia will be hoping that the psychological advantage gained by their crushing victory in the first VB series final will enable them to finish the job at the earliest opportunity at the MCG tomorrow.
Few would bet on England bouncing straight back after yesterday's Sydney torment, but if they can, there is a decider scheduled at Adelaide on Monday.
Paul Collingwood, one of several England players who have asked for a brief home break before the World Cup, does not believe fatigue was not a factor in Sydney.
"I don't think the other night's performance was because of weariness or anything like that - we certainly need to lift our game," said the Durham all-rounder.
"I think it would be great to get home for a few days, it's more a mental than a physical thing. People might say we are mad but it is certainly tough when you are living out of suitcases all the time, it's been a heavy schedule.
"Three days at home would probably refresh us, I would have thought, and we can start again from a different angle."
The ECB chairman, David Morgan, has discussed the issue at a meeting with coach Duncan Fletcher at the team hotel in Melbourne.
Collingwood has proved a doughty fighter for England against Australia this week, with an unbeaten 63 at Adelaide and 43 in the crushing defeat at the SCG. On both occasions, the 26-year-old has walked to the crease with England four wickets down for 40 or less.
"Hopefully that will prove I can be picked as a batsman in the side as opposed to an all-rounder and at least there are a couple of spots I can go for.
"I am not concerned about having a fixed position in the order, I go in at whatever number they tell me to go in. If we are doing really well sometimes Ian Blackwell or Ronnie Irani will go in earlier and I will drop down the order, I'm pretty relaxed about that.
"When you bat lower down the order if you lose early wickets it gives you a chance to get in and build a total. Often you go in in situations where you are either in deep trouble or trying to blast it from ball one.
"So it is a difficult spot, especially if you are chasing a total and you know one mistake is going to be vital. Sometimes that is what my downfall is, I take that chance a little bit too early before I am really in."
Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has been ruled out of the second final. McGrath is struggling to overcome a lower back strain, but all-rounder Shane Watson (back) and batsman Jimmy Maher (hamstring) are likely to be considered.