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World XI must improve to keep interest alive: Vettori

By Greg Stutchbury
October 06, 2005 13:41 IST
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New Zealand's Daniel Vettori has said the World XI must put in an improved showing against Australia in the second one-day match on Friday to keep interest in the series alive.

Although widely predicted to beat an Australian team that was heavily criticised after losing the Ashes to England last month, the World XI crumbled to a 93-run loss in the first one-dayer on Wednesday.

Chasing 255 for eight, the composite side were bowled out for 162 with only Kumar Sangakkara with 64 and England's Andrew Flintoff (38) providing any real resistance to the Australian attack, who were keen to prove a point to their critics.

"We realise how important it is that we put up a much improved showing in the next game," left arm spinner Vettori told reporters on Thursday.

"For it to be a success people want to see a 2-1 result whichever way it goes and a close fought Test match for it to have some meaning.

"That's what we're certainly here for and we're going to try and turn that around as quickly as possible."

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The first match at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium was poorly attended and large blocks of seats available for sale to the general public were conspicuously empty. The official attendance was 18,435.

Organisers have said they expect bigger crowds for Friday and Sunday's match, though ticket prices of between A$46-125 ($35-95) have been cited by local media as a deterrent to fans.

Vettori made no apologies for his side's poor performance on Wednesday and said they had wanted to win the match as much as the Australians.

"There was an immense desire in our team to win," he said. "We talked a lot about coming here and the only reason we were coming here was to win."

"There's been a lot of us who have been on the receiving end of hidings from Australia in the past and this was our chance to put that right.

"We saw that Australia came out with a huge amount of intensity but by no means were we not wanting to win as much as they were."

Vettori said the World XI had analysed their performance and he felt they were perhaps trying too hard.

"Maybe we were trying to win the game too early," he said.

"Guys are used to taking the responsibility on themselves to win games, and I think with so many good batsmen you can take your time a little bit more and build that partnership.

"That's what wins most cricket games."

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Greg Stutchbury
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