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Australians are not invincible: Bracewell

A massive loss in the Gabba Test has not dented Kiwi coach John Bracewell's belief that his team can upset the world champions in the second Test.
PTI | By Associated Press, Adelaide
PUBLISHED ON NOV 23, 2004 03:46 PM IST

A massive loss in the series-opening match at the Gabba on the weekend hasn't dented New Zealand coach John Bracewell's belief that his Kiwi lineup can upset Australia in the second Test.

New Zealand's original gameplan _ to frustrate the hosts by slowing down the pace of the game _ failed badly at the Gabba, where Australia won by an innings and 156 runs with almost five sessions to spare.

So it's back to the drawing board for the New Zealanders, who're looking for the smallest flaws in the Australian team before the second Test starts on Friday at the Adelaide Oval.

For the first two days in Brisbane, the New Zealanders were competitive, "until the point where, quite frankly, we got beaten up," said Bracewell.

The New Zealand top order failed twice, the tourists relying on No 7 Jacob Oram's unbeaten 126 to lift them to 353 in the first innings. In the second innings, the Kiwis folded and were all out for 76.

The New Zealand bowlers also lacked penetration after taking four Australian wickets on the second day.

Michael Clarke (141) and Adam Gilchrist (126) restored the Australian innings with a 216-run partnership for the sixth wicket and then Glenn McGrath (61) and Jason Gillespie (54 not out) added 114 runs for the last wicket to boost the total to 585.

Bracewell told reporters on Tuesday that his squad wasn't in complete despair after a lopsided loss to the top-ranked Australians. "We recognize the difference, and I think the world rankings show the difference in where Australia are and where the rest of the world are _ there is clear daylight," he said.

"But that doesn't stop you trying and it doesn't stop you thinking about how you are going to beat them. There are very small opportunities to beat them and you have got to make sure you take advantage of those _ we didn't do that in the last Test and we paid the price."

Australia is ranked No 1 in Test and limited-overs cricket. New Zealand is seventh in the Test rankings and is touring without a frontline pace bowler and without allrounder Chris Cairns, who has retired from Test matches.

But Bracewell said the Australians aren't invincible. "There are small holes of vulnerability in everybody's technique, it's a matter of finding them and being able to exploit them," he said "You are dealing with small margins and you have got to get those margins right. You can't play against Australia underachieving - you make mistakes, and you pay." Australia kept an unchanged squad for the second Test.

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