Fleming relishes leading full-strength Kiwis

Published: Monday, October 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming is raring to get into the Champions Trophy in India because he finally has a fully-fit team at his disposal.

"I am excited about my side because we are approaching a tournament in full strength and that is something we haven't done for a long time," Fleming said after the former champions arrived in New Delhi on Monday morning.

"With (Shane) Bond, Daniel (Vettori) and (Jacob) Oram all fit and raring to go, we know what we want to do and what we can do," said the 33-year-old with 7,184 one-day international runs under his belt.

New Zealand, who won the second edition of the championship at Nairobi in 2000, have not played one-dayers since March, when they handed a 4-1 drubbing to the West Indies in a home series.

"We have not played a lot of cricket but we have the experience to adapt to conditions here as many of our players have been here before," said the left-handed opener.

"We generally know who is capable of doing what for our team and a reason why we don't experiment so much is because our resources are limited unlike those of Australia, India and Pakistan.

"We too have introduced some players in the recent past but our timeline is different and we don't see a lot of things changing in the near future," added Fleming, who has led New Zealand in 191 one-dayers.

But nine years at the helm had not changed his desire to win.

"You need different energy levels to lead in one-dayers. You have to keep getting better and improve on leadership qualities and this tournament is just another opportunity to show my ability," he said.

New Zealand coach John Bracewell too felt his team was equipped to do well in Indian conditions.

"The dew factor might be a consideration here since all matches are day-night affairs but we have a lot of swing bowlers with us," said the former Test off-spinner.

Bracewell said he was expecting some huge scores, especially since the 400-run mark has been crossed four times this year.

"The 400-run mark is like the four-minute mile clocked by Roger Bannister. Once you have hit it, it is likely to be repeated again and again, especially because of the amount of cricket being played," said Bracewell.

New Zealand take on South Africa in their first group match in Mumbai on Oct 16.


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