Australia name unchanged side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia name unchanged side

By Greg Buckle 25/04/2007 05:57:33 AM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed Shane Watson to produce another big game in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against South Africa after the all-rounder's brilliant half-century last week against New Zealand.

Watson was named in an unchanged Australian side for the St Lucia playoff which starts at 9.30am (11.30pm Wednesday AEST).

Unbeaten in nine games in the Caribbean tournament, Australia have kept a settled lineup throughout the campaign.

The world champions recalled Andrew Symonds from a bicep injury for the third group game against South Africa last month and rushed Watson back into the side for the final Super Eights game last Friday after the pace-bowling all-rounder recovered from a calf strain which kept him out for three matches.

Victorian century-maker Brad Hodge, who filled in for both players during the tournament, was the unlucky player to miss out again on Wednesday on selection in the side.

"We've got the same team for the game tomorrow as we've had for the last game," Ponting said at his pre-match press conference at the Beausejour ground.

"We felt that was probably our best-balanced side, having Shane Watson back in the team and hopefully he can perform like he did last game.

"Things are right on track for us. We are really confident within our group going into the game.

"We've got every reason to be (confident) I guess with the standard of cricket that we have played over the last seven weeks.

"We can't wait for the game to get underway."

Watson cracked 65 not out from 32 balls and took 1-20 from five overs in Australia's 215-run thrashing of the Black Caps in Grenada on Friday.


Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait.

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