The World XI will tap into England’s successful Ashes strategies when they take on Australia in three one-day cricket internationals here next week, skipper Shaun Pollock said Thursday.
England upset the odds when their well-executed tactics unhinged the fancied Aussies to regain the Ashes in an unforgettable series earlier this month in England.
“We’ve got Tim Boon from England, who’s the analyst for them, who’s bringing over some of the footage, some of the ideas that they used against Australia,” Pollock told a press conference here Thursday. “The guys should be pretty well prepared.”
The South African all-rounder said the presence of match-winning English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and batting sensation Kevin Pietersen would bolster the World XI’s chances against Ricky Ponting’s team.
Pollock said the pair’s form, confidence and tactical insights would be useful for the all-star world team.
“Hopefully, that rubs off onto the other guys,” he said.
“Having beaten Australia recently, they must be feeling pretty confident and they are superstars in their own right, they really performed well in that series – in the Ashes and the one-day series.
“We’re looking for big performances from them as well.
“I know Freddie was (England captain) Michael Vaughan’s turn-to man and I can pretty much see myself turning to him at many opportunities to try to make an impact.”
Flintoff and Indian batsman Rahul Dravid arrive here Friday to join the ICC World XI squad.
Pollock said the international combination needed to apply the same sort of pressure on Australia as England had, but noted there were some important differences.
“This is in a different country, different conditions, and being at home I’m sure they’ll (Australia) be a lot more comfortable,” he said.
“In the one-day series, they did win the one-day series over there in England, so they obviously are the best-rated one-day side in the world and rightly so.”
Pollock said the chance to beat Australia in a series here would motivate every player in the world side, given so few had achieved it with their own countries.
“From our perspective it is an honour to be selected in a World XI and playing alongside some legendary players you’ve played against, the motivation will definitely be there,” he said.
“It’s not too often you do come to Australia and walk away with the trophy.
“It’s an ideal opportunity for some of the guys to experience that, so definitely we’re motivated to try to play well and win.”
Pollock said the biggest challenge would be gelling as a team before Wednesday’s opening match at Docklands stadium, but said given the individual experience it should not be a problem.
“They are professional, they know how to come and be part of a side and how to fit into a role and from talking to them they’re very excited about being part of the unit and more than willing to do anything that they can,” he said.
The one-day matches will be played on October 5, 7 and 9, with a six-day Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting on October 14.