CENTURION, South Africa, (Reuters) – Adrenalin and desire will fuel tired New Zealand’s dreams of beating Australia in the Champions Trophy final today, captain Daniel Vettori said.
“I wish we had another day before the final, to be honest,” Vettori told a news conference yesterday.
“It was exhausting on Saturday to get through the late game but I think once Monday turns up the adrenalin will take over and everyone will be pretty excited about playing in a final.”
Vettori, the man of the match in the five-wicket semi-final victory over Pakistan on Saturday, said his team did not care that reaching the final was already a success in many people’s eyes for New Zealand.
“I think we probably have achieved what we set out to achieve but once you reach that level you realise there is an immense desire to go all the way and I think there’s no relief in the camp.
“At training today it was all about how we’re going to win tomorrow as opposed to: ‘It’s great that we’ve made it’. It’s pleasing to me as captain to hear those sorts of sentiments and we’ve got to make sure we put it into practice on Monday.
“There is a real air of determination and ambition in the side. There’s belief and a desire to win the tournament instead of just ending up as semi-finalists,” Vettori said.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting, whose side have got to the final unbeaten, said his players would treat New Zealand with respect at Centurion.
“New Zealand play to their strengths and do it very well. They’re a very disciplined and calculated side and they have been for a number of years. They might not be the most flamboyant players going around but you know they’ll always stand up and give their 100 percent, so it’s important we match them in that department,” Ponting told a news conference.
“The Kiwis have probably upset a few along the way. We know they are always a competitive team and few gave them a chance against Pakistan but they were obviously the better team yesterday,” said Ponting, whose side crushed England by nine wickets in Friday’s first semi-final.
Australia are looking to become the first team to defend the title while New Zealand want to be the first side to win the trophy twice.
“It’s always been a great rivalry whether it be cricket, rugby or netball or whatever it is, the countries always seem to have some good clashes. It’s one we’re looking forward to,” said Ponting.
Australia are likely to field the same team that beat England in the semi-finals, while New Zealand are pondering one change, with Grant Elliott expected to have another pain-killing injection after he batted with a broken thumb against Pakistan.
Vettori said Jeetan Patel could be included because conditions at Centurion were expected to be good for his fellow spinner.