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24 December 201401:20

Around the wicket with: Andy Bichel

In an era of great Australian pace-bowlers, Andy Bichel was as good as anyone and proved this at the 2003 World Cup.

Around the wicket with: Andy Bichel
  - Cricket News

Andy Bichel was one of the stand-out performers of the 2003 tournament

In a do-or-die match against England, Bichel picked up three wickets in eight balls on his way to the best World Cup bowling figures against a full-member nation – 7-20.

We went around the wicket with Bichel to ask him six questions about his World Cup experiences and expectations for 2015.

What is your favourite World Cup memory as a player?
Would have to be the England game in 2003. It was an amazing game. When it happened (taking 7-20) you don’t think a lot about it, but looking back now and taking 7-20 and being a part of the winning partnership with Michael Bevan, it was pretty special.

How far into the spell of 7/20 did you know you were onto something special?
It was a strange day, I took four wickets and then went off for 12 or 13 overs before coming back and getting a wicket straight away. It was surreal, Glenn McGrath couldn’t get a wicket. Even Brett Lee couldn’t buy a wicket and he had been bowling well. Everything I did that day seemed to turn to gold.

Which venue are you most looking forward to seeing in action at #cwc15?
It’s got to be the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The first game for Australia against England at the MCG will be a big one. It will be a great way to kick-off the tournament in Australia and will be a marker to see how both teams are placed for the tournament.

How will the Australia players find playing in Auckland on 28 February?
They haven’t played New Zealand for a long time so there is an unknown factor. Traditionally Australia haven’t played well at Eden Park with it being a smaller ground. Also the NZ crowd is loud and passionate. It’s back in our face a little bit because we are loud and passionate too. I think the passion of the crowd and the closeness of the venue is something that could really rattle them.

Who is your pick to make the final?
I think South Africa are a team that has played well in recent times. With Australia there is the challenge of playing at home and learning from the lessons of 2011. New Zealand are always a dark horse but they seem to have more depth than before. With two new balls and swinging conditions in Australia and New Zealand it will be down to who can handle the conditions the best.

Andy, what is your greatest all-time World Cup XI?
Sachin Tendulkar (C), Matthew Hayden, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Ian Botham, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath

Andy Bichel ICC Cricket World Cup record:
Tournaments: 1 (2003)
Matches: 8
Wickets: 16
Average: 12.31
Best: 7/20