Fleming tells team to remember humiliation in Tests

Published: Friday, December 3, 2004, 20:22 [IST]
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Melbourne:New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming wants his players not to forget their two-Test series humiliation to Australia ahead of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy One-day cricket series.

Rather than expunging the memories of last month's 2-0 thumping, Fleming said the Black Caps must learn from their mistakes going into the inaugural One-day series.

The first of three day-nighters in the trans-Tasman series will be played here on Sunday under the Docklands stadium roof.

"We don't want to forget about the Tests -- part of my summing up for the series was that if we don't learn the times we get thumped, then we're not a smart side," Fleming said here on Friday.

"We pride ourselves on being smart, because we're challenged by depth of players and often skill of players -- so we've got to be smart.

"If we just forget about the Test series and don't take any lessons into the One-dayers, then the exercise is a waste of time."

Organisers hope the annual Chappell-Hadlee trophy will become cricket's version of the famous rugby Bledisloe Cup between the two trans-Tasman rivals.

New Zealand is stronger in One-dayers than it is in Tests, giving Fleming some confidence his team can trouble the powerful Australian squad.

"The teams are closer due to the nature of the game and also the personnel that come into the side," Fleming said.

"Our record of the last 12 months has been pretty spectacular in One-day cricket so there is confidence within that camp.

"It's not much fun being outclassed, so we certainly want to make sure we can do everything we can so it doesn't happen in the one dayers."

New Zealand had its first training session under the stadium roof on Friday, while Australia played a series of three winter One-dayers against South Africa at the ground in 2000 and another two against Pakistan in 2002.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he was unsure whether speedster Brett Lee would return to international cricket on Sunday after he was named 12th man for last month's Tests.

But Australia will definitely play him at some stage in this series, which will also feature day-nighters in Sydney next Wednesday and Brisbane on Friday.

"I've kept a pretty close eye on him over the last few weeks with the games that he's played and the way he's bowled at training," Ponting said of Lee.

"That's been the most frustrating thing as far as he's concerned, he knows he's ready to go and he's raring to go, he just hasn't been given that chance yet," Ponting said.

"He can't wait to get back in and he seems to think once he does get a crack at it again, he will bowl well.

"I'm sure he'll bowl very fast when he gets his chance, he's worked extremely hard on his fitness and he's fitter and stronger than I've seen him in a long time, probably ever.

"So he'll run in and let them go and hopefully take some wickets for us."

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