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Steve Waugh out to prove a point

By Michael Donaldson 03/12/2002 06:26:27 PM Comments (0)

England has a chance to resurrect its tour and Steve Waugh will be out to prove a point when he leads New South Wales against the tourists at the SCG on Friday.

England's one-day squad starts its World Cup campaign against an international-strength NSW side, Australia's reigning one-day champion and a team which Blues opener Mark Waugh said "wouldn't be out of place in the World Cup".

The battered English will get an immediate taste of what's in store for the next three weeks when one-day series against Australia and Sri Lanka takes over from Tests.

They'll face a side skippered by their Ashes nemesis Waugh and containing Australian one-day regulars Michael Bevan, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.

Mark Waugh, Simon Katich, Stuart MacGill, rising star Michael Clarke, former Australian one-day pace bowler Nathan Bracken, World Cup squad member Brad Haddin and Corey Richards make up a daunting line-up.

Steve Waugh was omitted from the 30-man World Cup shadow squad named yesterday but hasn't given up on appearing in South Africa next year.

Friday's chance is a rare chance to show he still belongs in Australian colours.

"I was very disappointed not to be considered in the top 30 players," Waugh said.

"I was disappointed and hurt by it and I want to try to prove them (national selectors) wrong."

Waugh, as fit as he's ever been and sharp in the field despite his 37-years, has been sharpening his bowling as well in order to prove himself in the limited overs arena.

As captain of NSW he will be able to inject himself into the bowling attack.

"I've just got to get runs and, if I bowl, take wickets and make an impression," Waugh said.

While Bevan doesn't think he has much to prove he would be mindful his recent run of form for Australia hasn't been as good as the 32-year-old is used to.

Since making 102 not out against New Zealand at Melbourne last summer, he's made only 173 runs in 11 innings at an average of 21.63 - well down on his career average of 54.78.

But for NSW he has been in impeccable form.

"I can't do anything more, I'm hitting the ball really well at the moment," he said.

Bevan said England had an opportunity to turn things around after losing the Ashes series in three quick Tests.

"I guess the one-dayers from their point of view is a chance to turn the corner."

The match is also a chance for NSW World Cup hopefuls Bracken, Clarke and Haddin to push for inclusion in the final 15-man squad.

All three were named in the 30-man shadow squad.

New South Wales: Steve Waugh (captain), Corey Richards, Mark Waugh, Michael Bevan, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath, Dominic Thornely (12th man).

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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