Cricket World Cup: Mark Ramprakash presents his player-by-player guide to today's World Cup final at Lord's

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Australia

Steve

Waugh

You need a dictionary to find sufficient words for this fellow's contribution to his side. When they needed him he has been there. Tough, nerveless, and never, ever knows when he is beaten.

Mark

Waugh

A class batsman who tends to stay in when he gets in, like all the good ones. Seizes on the minutest bowling errors in line or length, improvises, has timing and time.

Adam

Gilchrist

Scorer of five one-day hundreds, but has struggled here and looked up against it. The moving ball has not helped but has also been found wanting against bowlers coming at him round the wicket.

Ricky

Ponting

Will not be happy to have got in so many times only to get out. Has played some loose shots, top edging to square leg, for instance, and will be anxious to demonstrate his calibre. Best fielder on either side.

Darren

Lehmann

Has not really got going, but will remember doing well against Pakistan in Pakistan. Definitely still capable of heavy scoring.

Michael

Bevan

Not flattered by his high reputation. Played a vital innings in the semi-final, has the nous to keep board ticking over, brilliant runner between wickets, finds gaps, difficult to dislodge.

Tom

Moody

Experience of England and of Lord's. Knows what is required at any given time, can play big shots when necessary. Will be relaxed.

Shane

Warne

They wrote him off at their peril (at least, I got that one right). His figures had been poor only by his standards. When it mattered he came back with big turn and huge pressure. Not easy to milk in the middle part of innings.

Paul

Reiffel

Fast-medium seamer, not easily reiffled, you might say. Puts it there or thereabouts, has been around, not spectacular, but reliable.

Damien

Fleming

Similar type to Reiffel, keen competitor who will not lose it when the ball is flying around. Can reverse swing it too.

Glenn

McGrath

Watch for him today. He will hit the splice, force their front- foot players on to the back foot, give no width.

Final

verdict

Have been through the mill twice, and now look to be marginal favourites. On the other hand, final or not, they may be sapped completely of adrenalin after twice going to the wire.

Pakistan

Wasim

Akram

Has become a father figure who lets his boys know when he is pleased - or displeased - with them, and still capable of bowling the big balls, swinging it hugely, and playing the massive shots.

Saeed

Anwar

In the Mark Waugh class as a one-day batsman, has all the shots and appears to be coming good at exactly the right time. Loads of composure, too.

Wajahatullah

Wasti

I know little about him, except that in only his second Test match in March he scored hundreds in both innings. Looks to have the best technique of all his side's batsmen.

Abdur

Razzaq

Has come from nowhere at the age of 19. Limited in shot making but confident, and has also bowled straight. An extremely useful,

mature player.

Ijaz

Ahmed

Whether it has been ball, pitches or form, he has not had the tournament he might have done. But he can play all right and should not be under-rated.

Inzamam-

ul-Haq

A liability between the wickets and in the field, but what a batsman. Possesses timing, strength and nerve and if a truly big innings is to be played by his side he is the one to play it.

Shahid

Afridi

Dasher who will do better now the pitches have settled a bit. Had a couple of cameos so far but capable of taking games away quickly.

Moin

Khan

With Klusener, the hitter of the tournament. A solid, organised pro apart from anything else, who brings organisation to Pakistan's potential for disorganisation. Has been playing with broken finger but a vital player.

Azhar

Mahmood

Scored three blistering Test hundreds against South Africa last winter - another who is mature beyond his years. Has not had much to do with the bat but has swung the ball and been an effective second change.

Saqlain

Mushtaq

One of the great spinners. A nightmare for a new batsman and, like Warne, not easily milked in the middle part of an innings. Pushes it through, but still gives it a loop.

Shoaib

Akhtar

Excitement on a stick. Bowls fast, really fast, bouncers, yorkers, reverse swing, round the wicket, the lot. What the World Cup needed.

Final

verdict

Mercurial and reliant on Wasim to ensure that they stay on course in the game. Capable of great deeds, but have also shown the other side of their playing nature. Surprisingly mature youngsters might yet do the trick.

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