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Smith and Ranatunga question resting policy

Graeme Smith says Australia do not have the strength in depth to rest key players and Arjuna Ranatunga believes the policy is "cocky and arrogant"

Cricinfo staff

Smith feels Australia are missing Glenn McGrath © Getty Images
The South African captain Graeme Smith says Australia do not have the strength in depth to rest key players and Arjuna Ranatunga believes the policy is "cocky and arrogant".
"From what we have seen in the past few games, they are more than capable of missing out on the final with the way Sri Lanka and South Africa have played," Ranatunga told the Sydney Morning Herald. "You can see the way they crumble under pressure. When there is no pressure, they look really good and are tough to beat. But they panic under pressure and they looked awful and vulnerable the other night."
Ranatunga said Sri Lanka had a good chance to finish the VB Series on top after beating Australia in Sydney on Sunday. "I don't think our players will worry if Australia are being arrogant. If they are cocky, that's their problem, not ours."
Smith, whose side is preparing to take on Sri Lanka on Tuesday, said the Australian attack was exposed without their spearhead Glenn McGrath. Australia chose to rest McGrath at the SCG and Sanath Jayasuriya smacked 114 off 96 balls.
"It shows how important McGrath is to their set-up ... McGrath and [Brett] Lee," he said. "I know McGrath hasn't got many wickets but they've really bowled well up front this series and created pressure. It just maybe shows the depth is just like ours, it takes a while to get those guys up to a level they need to be."
The allrounder James Hopes was hammered for 65 runs off six overs by the Sri Lankans while Brett Dorey was substituted by Ricky Ponting after being smashed for 35 runs off four overs. Smith questioned why the Australians continued to ignore Jason Gillespie, despite his poor form in Australia's Ashes tour of England. "I know he struggled through the Ashes but he's a world-class bowler, and certainly it has been a surprise that he hasn't even been spoken of much."
Smith was also surprised at the decision to rest Phil Jaques, who blasted an Australian one-day debut record of 94 against South Africa in Melbourne on Friday. "It's a bit harsh on the boy," he said, "but I guess they've backed Simon Katich from the start and it's important to have a degree of consistency.
"Consistency was a strength of ours through our success winning 20 games in a row in the last six to eight months, now we've lost a lot of those guys going home and it takes a while to build that experience and confidence at this level."