Australia too good for the so called ‘stars’

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Australia today registered a comprehensive 210-run victory over the World XI with the much vaunted cosmopolitan batting line-up being mesmerised by Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill who shared 15 wickets between them in the one-off Test in the ICC Super Series.

Chasing a victory target of 355, the World XI failed to cope with MacGill (5/43) and Warne (3/48) getting dismissed for 144 on the fourth day of the six-day Test.

MacGill, who had long been forced to live in the shadow of the more celebrated Warne, made a strong case for his inclusion in the side for the home series against the West Indies after returning figures of nine for 82.

Warne, who had taken three wickets to restrict World XI to 190 in their first innings, boosted his world record haul to 629 with another three in the second innings.

Resuming the day on 25 for two, overnight batsmen Rahul Dravid and Brian Lara managed to see off Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee before Warne struck.

Newly-crowned India captain Dravid (23) edged a Warne delivery to Hayden at slip while Lara, who looked to be regaining his touch as he hit seven fours in his 36-run knock, got an inside edge to Warne and Gilchrist gloved a good catch.

Inzamam-ul-Haq was unlucky to be given out leg before to lee when the delivery appeared to be missing the leg stump.

Thereafter, Kallis (39 not out) was the only batsman who negotiated the leg-spinners well as wickets tumbled at regular intervals at the other end.

MacGill finished off the tail in a hurry and as Muralitharan missed a heave, Gilchrist removed the bails to sign a crushing victory.

World XI coach John Wright today blamed lack of form of the batting superstars for the 210-run defeat to Australia in the super Test here today.

Left rummaging for answers after his side’s collective failure, Wright said “form was an issue for some of them” although he denied lack of motivation could be one of the reasons for the abject humiliation.

“There’s no question that anyone went out there to fail — no one does. Not with their reputation,” he said after World XI was handed out a thrashing on the fourth day of the one-off cricket Test by world champions Australia.

“I think form was an issue for some of them. A lot of them came here without a lot of cricket behind them.”

“We never got an innings going in the one-day series which perhaps had an effect flowing to this match,” the former India coach said.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who won USD 132,708 in prize money and match fees, said the victory was satisfying but it could not be a “compensation” for the Ashes defeat.

“It’s no compensation for losing the Ashes (but) to win a Test match against the best players from the Rest of the World is extremely satisfying,” he said.

“I was a little bit surprised of how easy it ended today but not through the course of the game. They proved yesterday just how dangerous they can be as a side. They got themselves right back with a chance to win,” he added.

World XI skipper Graeme Sminth, who failed in both the innings, said his side did not play to the best of its abilities and was perhaps a little underprepared as compared to Australia who were coming into the matches on the back of an intense Ashes series.