Coming in from the outer, Grant Elliott performed his World Cup role to perfection for New Zealand

New Zealand's World Cup star Grant Elliott on his way to 83 in Sunday's World Cup final.
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New Zealand's World Cup star Grant Elliott on his way to 83 in Sunday's World Cup final.

Grant Elliott stands by the Yarra River with a deep cold and a sense of humour.

He's reflecting on a night when he scored 83 in a World Cup final and got called every name under the sun.

He's not telling tales on Brad Haddin and co because leak the contents of sledging into the media and it will be twice as bad next time.

Elliott was singled out because he looked a fish out of water in the pool match when Mitchell Starc embarrassed him with a difficult yorker first up at Eden Park.

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The Australians pick on the supposed weak link, not that Elliott is anything of the sort these days.

Elliott has just enjoyed the best week of his cricket career.

He drove his adopted country into a World Cup final with a last gasp six and then scored 83 in the pressure cooker atmosphere at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

His face is now a familiar one. No more early morning darts to the dairy in a dirty t-shirt.

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"Probably won't be able to go many places without being called the Hairy Javelin," he says.

Elliott put his name in the IPL auction last month but failed to garner any interest. If the timing was better, he might've been in demand.

"If anyone wants to phone me you can give them my number," Elliott says.

The 36-year-old Wellington batsman scored 310 runs at 31.57 at the tournament, at a healthy strike rate of 105.44. He was seeing the ball so well on Sunday that he even used the back of the bat for one glide.

For all that, there was no puffing out of the chest at Monday's media call.

"Cricket is the sort of game that when it is your day, it is your day," he says.

"I'm just lucky I have scored runs in the semifinal and the final. But we've got many players in our team who can produce those innings so, it was my day and it is great to have that, but unfortunately it wasn't a winning innings."

One 36-year-old is bowing out in Daniel Vettori, but Elliott is blessed with a fit, athletic body and has no plans to bring the curtain down.

He discusses the final and where it went wrong.

At the end of the 35th over (150-3) Elliott and Taylor decided a total of between 255 and 270 was realistic but with three wickets lost in the opening eight balls of the batting power play Elliott and Vettori had to steady the ship and set their sights on 220. They were dismissed for 183, but Elliott takes the outcome in his stride.

"We came to MCG pretty level [headed]. I don't think we were over-awed. I don't think we had already played our final. We were ready for this final."

 - Stuff

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