New Zealand seamers are ready for England

Published: Monday, April 26, 2004, 20:54 [IST]
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Christchurch:New Zealand's fast bowlers have drafted in specialist help before the team travels to England next week -- a box of English-style cricket balls.

The pace attack have been getting used to the Duke balls, which differ slightly from the Kookaburras normally used in Australia and New Zealand, ahead of next month's three-Test series and tri-series also involving West Indies, said assistant coach Vaughn Johnson.

Johnson said the Duke ball, although the same weight, felt smaller in the hand.

"And the rope on the seam is a lot more coarse than the Kookaburra. Once the lacquer goes off the outside of it, it tends to swing around. It does swing early but not perhaps as prodigiously as the Kookaburra.

"The ball seams around longer because the seam tends to be harder because of the coarser rope. It is certainly harder than the Kookaburra."

Johnson believes the players will adjust after a couple of matches in England.

"The pace bowlers are obviously looking forward to going to England where the wickets are going to be conducive to seamers anyhow.

"The wickets and outfields over there tend to have more grass on them because of the climatic conditions which also tends to preserve the shine," Johnson said.

Meanwhile it was revealed pace bowler Daryl Tuffey needed to have 320ml (11 fluid ounces) of blood drained from his thigh to hasten his readiness for the tour.

Tuffey said he suffered internal bleeding after several heavy falls on his hip during the second Test against South Africa at Auckland last month.

"It would probably have gone away slowly naturally but because I was heading to England they thought it was best to drain it.

"I just lay down and watched it trickle out for about five minutes or so."

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