WC 2003 - Aussies are playing mind games, were used to them: Fleming

Published: Sunday, March 9, 2003, 22:09 [IST]
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Johannesburg: New Zealand insisted on Sunday that it will not be intimidated by Australia's awesome pace battalion when the two sides clash in the World Cup Super Sixes on Tuesday.The world champions used Brett Lee as a battering ram to deliberately target Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya in their opening second phase game at Centurion on Friday.It was done with such force that Jayasuriya ended up in hospital with an arm injury which could have ended his World Cup and Australian captain Ricky Ponting hinted that Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming would be next in the firing line."We've heard it all before," said Fleming. "Aussies are just following on from Steve Waugh who was very good at using the media." Ponting, whose team is the only one with a perfect record in the tournament, is adamant that nothing will stand in his way of a second successive World Cup title."We need to put pressure on Stephen Fleming," said Ponting. "He made a sensational century against South Africa. Fleming is playing well at the top of the order and New Zealand has played some good cricket."The build-up to the match had already been given extra spice as long ago as January when Black Caps all-rounder Chris Cairns said that Ponting had yet to prove himself as a skipper at the highest level."Ricky Ponting is a unproven international captain whereas guys like Stephen Fleming have been around for a while," said Cairns. "When you get rid of someone with the stature and ability of (former skipper) Steve Waugh it can have a negative effect on a team."They do have some great front runners so you have to get them under pressure early." Copyright AFP 2001

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