New Zealand have taken the unusual step of revealing their masterplan to beat England in the One-day International here on Wednesday (today), detailing perceived flaws among key batsmen.
A win for New Zealand would give them an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series while England need a victory to stay alive. Although it is rare for a team to reveal tactics before a match, the New Zealanders say the shortcomings of England openers Alastair Cook and Phil Mustard are no secret while Kevin Pietersen is a liability for his partner.
Strike bowler Chris Martin will bowl around the wicket to Cook, creating a left-armer’s angle, keep Mustard tucked up and try to unsettle Pietersen with tight deliveries. “Cook has struggled with left-armers around the world. It’s the angle he has struggled with,” Martin said.
“As far as Mustard goes, you have to cramp him and make sure he doesn’t have too many areas to hit to. “If you tie him (Pietersen) down for a few balls he does have a knack of putting his partner under pressure because he likes to run a quick single.
“Most of the guys in the circle are aware their (England’s) running has been pretty bad this series so if we can put pressure on him and make sure he doesn’t hit boundaries then he might run other people out.”
England have suffered seven run outs in the three one-day matches so far, but Pietersen was not to blame for any of them. However, Ian Bell had two lives when batting with Pietersen in a match-turning 107-run partnership in the third match on Saturday night.
Wide returns saved Bell when on 22 and 52 and he went on to top score with 73. But while New Zealand may believe they have some answers they also have problems of their own which need resolving, particularly the middle-order collapse during England’s series-saving, six-wicket win in Auckland.
While Jacob Oram produced a substantial 88 to give New Zealand some respectability in Auckland, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris and Peter Fulton never looked comfortable. But coach John Bracewell denied there is a major problem.
“We lost some wickets early, it’s as simple as that. I don’t think we’ve lost any confidence,” he said. “We’ll continue to go out there and try and attack them and build up a style that is entertaining and one that will lead to a winning formula.
England have their own batting issue with Cook and Mustard unable to establish a firm foundation at the top of the order. Their best was a 41 in the second match at Hamilton when Cook at least went on to post a half-century while Mustard’s best score in the series so far is 31, although captain Paul Collingwood indicated they would persevere.
“The Colonel (Mustard) is one innings away, he’s shown potential there. He hasn’t scored the big one for us yet but he’s an aggressive player, that’s how we want him to come out,” Collingwood said.
“You’ve got to give those types of players a good run — they’re exciting when they come off.” England are expected to keep the same line up that won the third match while New Zealand have replaced allrounder Paul Hitchcock with batsman Daniel Flynn as cover for Jesse Ryder who has an ankle injury.If England win here Wednesday the series will be decided at the final match in Christchurch on Saturday.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Alastair Cook, Chris Martin, england, England in New Zealand 2008, Kevin Pietersen, New Zealand, Phil Mustard
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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