Adam Parore: Australia's intimidation technique won't work

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Ricky Ponting is trying to talk Australia up, but no one is fooled.

This is not the crack Aussie outfit of old and New Zealand are in with a starter's chance in the World Cup game at Nagpur this evening. I think it's actually a 50/50 call.

A New Zealand win would not only boost our struggling team's confidence, but also help put zap into a tournament that has been a fizzer so far.

Ponting is talking up his fast bowlers - Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson - saying they are hitting the 150km/h mark. Lee is the best of them with a proven record but they are all capable of going for a few.

Australia's defeat against India before the tournament shows where they are really at and Ponting sounds a bit too desperate in trying to boost his team's status.

They have always been a team who like to intimidate opponents. It's all very well talking a top game when you are on top, but Australia clearly aren't any more so their words can sound hollow.

Ponting and Michael Clarke have been making some runs but the Aussie batting lineup is not to be feared, especially when you compare it to the likes of India.

They don't play spin all that well and Dan Vettori and Nathan McCullum should be looking forward to bowling against the Australian middle order.

Bottom line: this is not the Aussie team of old. They no longer have an aura of invincibility, which can only be good news for us. One thing is for sure - New Zealand would far prefer facing their current lineup compared with the ones they have fielded in the past three tournaments. This shapes as one of the few clashes worth watching so far.

The ICC has persisted in having a lot of teams at the World Cup but unfortunately this dilutes interest in the early stages.

The ICC is apparently committed to having a 10-team tournament in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 so they are on the right track, but it would be even better if confined to the top eight teams.

- NZ Herald

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