Despite the World XI comprehensively losing the first two one-day matches, Shaun Pollock believes the Super Series has been a success and should be staged every three years. As Australia secured the inaugaral trophy with Sunday's game to play, Pollock said the concept gave the game's No. 1 side a chance to "stake their claim" against the best of the rest.
"The standard of cricket has been pretty good, especially in this game," he said. "You can evaluate it as a success. On Sunday we want to come out and play well again and get as much confidence as we can for the Test."
The six-day Super Test, which starts next Friday, will be the crucial game to determine the overall merits of the four-match series, but the second ODI attracted only a half-full stadium for the 55-run Australian victory that followed the 93-run success on Wednesday. "The concept of once every three or four years is the best," Pollock said. "That would give teams a chance to stake their claim as the best in the world and time to get the best selection for the World XI. If it was pushed every year it would be too much."
Pollock has had the task of uniting the players from various nations and found no problems with cultural or language barriers. However, he said the lack of time spent playing together showed during their running between the wickets and cost the World XI a chance of winning. Kumar Sangakkara, who made a sparkling 61 from 44 balls, and Jacques Kallis were both run out as the World XI attempted to chase Australia's huge total of 328.
"We thought we really had it in the bag," Pollock said. "We set totals for ourselves at the dinner break and we were probably ahead by 50 after ten overs and at 20 overs we were on track to win. The two run-outs really did us in. Maybe you get that from not playing together, but having two guys stranded in the middle and losing Kumar were big blows."
Ricky Ponting felt the dismissals were caused by the pressure Australia created in the field and he was extremely satisfied with the result, which was set up by Adam Gilchrist's 79-ball 103 and half-centuries to Ponting and Damien Martyn. "The way we batted today was as good as you'll see any innings anywhere in the world," he said. "I was pretty satisfied with the way we won the first game, but I'm even more excited about tonight's win because we had our backs to the wall for a while in the field and found ways to get wickets to win the game and series."
The victory confirmed Australia's status as the No. 1 in ODIs, but Ponting said their position was not in doubt. "I don't think we had to prove anything to anyone," he said. "We heard some things coming into the tournament that we were a bit vulnerable. We had some points to prove and we've done that."
Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo