WC 2003 - ~~It~~s going to be a war of attrition against the Aussies~~
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Port Elizabeth: New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming expects Tuesday's World Cup Super Six match against Australia here to be a war of attrition.On what is expected to be a slow St George's Park pitch, Fleming said New Zealand's slow-medium bowlers could play a crucial role."On this type of wicket I expect a war of attrition. It's not going to be won in the 30th over; it's more likely to go down to the latter stages. To me, the middle overs are the most important," said the captain after his team wrapped up preparations on Monday.Fleming said bowlers like Chris Harris, Scott Styris and Nathan Astle would probably be suited to the type of slow conditions which prompted a complaint from Australian skipper Ricky Ponting after his team's first round match against England on March 2.But Fleming still believes that the blistering pace of New Zealand opening bowler Shane Bond could be crucial because of his ability to take early wickets and because he is able to swing the ball away from the four left-handers in Australia's top six. "Id love him to knock the top off Australia," said Fleming. "He gets good shape against left-handers at good pace. I know from batting against him in the nets that he provides a challenge." Fleming said wickets from Bond, followed by strangulation in the middle overs, would be an ideal recipe for the Kiwis. "The key to restricting Australia is to take wickets," he said.Batsman and occasional wicket-keeper Lou Vincent will be considered for selection after recovering from injury in a game which the Black Caps need to win to keep their semi-final hopes alive.