The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Allrounders excite Stephen Fleming

Auckland: New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming might have won the Test and one-day series, but he does not want India to go to the World Cup with a “good” winning feeling.

“We don’t want India to go to World Cup with a good feeling,” said Fleming, revealing a ruthless streak, which has been a hallmark of his captaincy.

Fleming’s remarks evoked surprise, especially since India are not in the same group as New Zealand in the World Cup. Fleming earned negative criticism when he allowed South Africa to gain a bonus point and sneak ahead of Australia in the finals of a tri-series last season — a setback which later cost Steve Waugh his one-day captaincy.

Fleming did not spare the rod for his young all-rounder Andre Adams, who grabbed five wickets in the fourth game at Queenstown but then threw his wicket at a critical moment in Wellington, besides bowling an inconsistent line.

“He’s still coming back but I wouldn’t say he is fully there. I would love to have a guy who can perhaps bowl with a little more discipline. He is working hard to achieve the line the other three or four bowlers have done so far.

“The way he was striking the ball, he was up there with Chris Cairns. He is such an untapped talent with the bat and it should improve.”

Fleming sounded excited with the all-rounders’ option he has in the team with Jacob Oram, Adams and Cairns in the side.

“I think we understand now that guys from five down to eight are capable of doing it. We lost a little bit of momentum being preoccupied with the new ball. So let’s concentrate on the ones and twos and the basics of the game.”

Fleming said Oram, out with a fractured finger, was missed badly in the fifth game at Wellington with New Zealand struggling to prop the latter half of the batting.

“We did miss Oram. He’s been outstanding this summer and we are looking forward to get him back for the World Cup. He would have made a difference the other night.”

Fleming mentioned about Shane Bond’s bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in Wellington and said the fast bowler was hitting the gloves hard.

“A couple of overs he bowled to Tendulkar were genuine quick. He looked in good shape and is certainly hitting the gloves very hard.”

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly too termed Bond as a key bowler in New Zealand’s Cup plans. “Shane is the key to their success — he has the ability to bowl on all wickets.”

“Oram has come off well but the conditions suited him here. Daryl Tuffey has done well too and I feel he’s lived up to the expectations.”

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