The accent is pace even for One-dayers, says Fleming

Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2002, 20:29 [IST]
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Auckland: New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is expecting his fast bowlers to maintain their supremacy over India's batsmen in the upcoming One-day series also.

New Zealand was indebted to their pacemen for wrapping up the recent two-Test series 2-0 against the tourists, with Daryl Tuffey being the leading wicket-taker with 13 in four innings. Strike bowler Shane Bond grabbed 12 wickets and Jacob Oram 11 as Saurav Ganguly's Indians crashed to pace on seaming wickets and lost both the Tests inside three days. "Our bowlers have got another chance to get on top of them," said Fleming ahead of the opening One-dayer, starting at the Eden Park here on Thursday. "I'd like to focus on the ability of Bond and Tuffey to continue their dominance over the Indians. They've to keep an edge over their batsmen even though India is a very talented One-day side and has quality players." India has been strengthened with the arrival of fast bowler Javagal Srinath, leg spinner Anil Kumble and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for the series of seven One-day Internationals. "Srinath and Kumble have got experience which is the key in One-dayers," said Fleming. "They have had a lot of success and are quality bowlers. They have added another dimension to the team, but I guess the benefit from our point of view is we have seen a lot of them in One-day cricket." Fleming said he felt the pitch here was expected to be different from the ones provided for the Tests. "I have been an advocate for bounce, but don't get it confused with seam movement," he said. "The wicket here looks good and it's nice to practise your trade on a good surface. I think the batsmen were screaming up for that and we've got it at this venue." The New Zealand captain said the One-day series would also provide an opportunity to his batsmen to regain form ahead of the World Cup, starting in South Africa next February. The New Zealand batsmen, like their counterparts, also struggled for runs in the Test series as Mark Richardson alone scored a half-century. "We are not the most in-form batting unit this season," said Fleming. "We have to perform. The pressure is on as it's a very important time of the year in terms of our preparations for the World Cup." The hosts will be without key all-rounders Chris Cairns and Chris Harris who are recovering from injuries, but Fleming said their absence would give a chance to others to prove themselves. "We've got quality players in our squad, so it's a challenge for them to be competitive and win matches," said Fleming. "If we do get the services of Cairns and Harris, we are going to be better off. But this squad has the responsibility of winning the games and they know what they need to do." Fleming said his team was confident of doing well in One-dayers after having won the Test series on difficult pitches. "This was a unique Test series, but I was very happy I had a side that was ready to compete in difficult circumstances," he said. "I know it was tough for Indian batsmen, but we had to bat on it (seaming pitch) as well. That's the point I'd like to put across. We did enough to win. "I think we have some sort of confidence within ourselves. You see the bowling unit is doing very well. The message is efficiency has to improve and continue to improve as we are looking forward to South Africa."

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