Batsmen won~~t find it easy on this pitch: Fleming

Published: Friday, December 20, 2002, 20:21 [IST]
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Hamilton: New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming conceded on Friday it could be difficult for his batsmen to score runs in the second and final cricket Test against India at the Westpac Park.

"It's going to be very tough for batsmen throughout this Test. We've got to bat really well on this pitch," said Fleming. India crashed to 92 for 8 in its first innings at stumps on the second day, with fast bowlers Daryl Tuffey (4 for 12) and Shane Bond (3 for 33) doing the maximum damage. The first day's play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Thursday due to rain. "It's not the kind of wicket we ask for, but it's a pretty fresh wicket," said Fleming, whose team lead 1-0 in the two-match series following a 10-wicket win in the opening Test at Wellington last week. "The groundsmen haven't had the opportunity to prepare the wicket and, with that in mind, it seems to be a very difficult wicket to bat on with the ball seaming around," he said. The New Zealand skipper said he felt the runs could still be scored if the batsmen showed commitment and worked hard. "You have got to show commitment to bat on a wicket like this and get behind the ball. You've got to work very hard. "We bowled very well and didn't let India off the hook at any stage and we were making them commit to play shots. I think our bowling was fantastic." Fleming said he did not believe that toss alone played a crucial role in putting his team in a strong position. "The toss is going to do nothing for the game," said Fleming, who won the toss and put India in to bat. "The team that is most committed is going to win the game. You can have luck (with the toss), but in situation like this you've got to make your luck. "It (the pitch) is always going to improve with the heat, but you can't always judge how the wicket is going to be. You only need one or two incidents out there with the ball running through and you're in trouble. "There's going to be some luck involved, but in between you've got to play some very good cricket. In these conditions you've got to play pretty well," Fleming said. Tuffey said bowling the right length on this pitch would be the key to his success. "Hitting the right length is important," the 24-year-old said. "I like bowling here. With the wicket seaming around a little bit, there was always going to be something for bowlers. "With Shane Bond bowling at 140 kms per hour, it always helps me at the other end, with me being a swing bowler rather than an express kind. All I wanted to do was to find the right line and length."

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