Stephen Fleming could complete a century of wins as New Zealand skipper over the next eleven days and take a huge step towards a first-ever World Cup title at the same time.
Fleming, who completed ten years in charge on the day when New Zealand beat Canada in the World Cup group phase last month, pits his wits against world number one South Africa, defending champions Australia and former champions Sri Lanka in their upcoming Super Eights campaign.
Before those testing duels, the Black Caps will face Ireland here on Monday (today).
Fleming, who holds the record of most one-day matches as captain with 213 — 20 more than the second place Arjuna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka — has a record of 96 wins, 103 defeats, one tie and 13 no results.
“Leading this current team is different. This is a very skilled side and we have come here with a fair idea of what is needed and we are very confident of winning,” said Fleming.
Under Fleming, New Zealand bowed out of the 1999 World Cup in England at the semifinal stages. In 2003, in South Africa, they failed to qualify for the Super Sixes.
“Apart from my own experience, the difference is in the level of training. I don’t think we have trained in other Cups better than this,” said Fleming, whose team won all three matches in the first round.
They have since beaten Bangladesh by nine wickets and the West Indies by seven wickets and are third in the Super Eights table behind Australia and Sri Lanka.
Fleming’s own form with the bat has been instrumental, hitting two half-centuries and an unbeaten hundred against Bangladesh. He now needs just another 36 to become the first New Zealander to score 8,000 one-day runs.
“To be honest the hardest part of the job and the toughest week is coming up with the top three to play, but up to now we have done everything that’s been asked and we have a good chance of winning,” he expressed.
Fleming believes the next week will reveal the line-up for the semifinals.
“It looks like South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and there may be some twists, probably England and the West Indies might do something but the next few days will tell us exactly,” he added.
Source:The NewsMore on:Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Stephen Fleming, Super Eight, title
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, World Cup.
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