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Fleming wants to keep India down

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.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2003 17:49 IST

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.

India, routed 0-2 in the Tests, were 0-4 in the seven- match one-day series when they recorded their first win in the fifth game at Wellington on Wednesday winning with a two- wicket margin.

Fleming's remarks evoked surprise especially since India are not in the same group as New Zealand in the World Cup but the two could be crossing swords in the Super Six stage of the tournament.

Fleming earned negative criticism when he allowed South Africa to gain a bonus point and sneak ahead of Australia in the finals of a triseries last year - a setback which later cost Steve Waugh his captaincy of one-day side.

Fleming did not spare the rod for his young all-rounder Andre Adams too 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 his batsmanship will improve with debriefing sessions."
Fleming was excited with the all-rounders' option he has in the team with Jacob Oram, Andre Adams and Chris 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 basic parts of the game and it will get us scores."

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 made a mention about Shane Bond's bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the Wellington game 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 World Cup plans. "Shane Bond is the key to their success -- wherever you go he has the ability to bowl on all sorts of 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. Overall these -- Bond, Tuffey and Oram -- are key players."

Ganguly also backed pace bowler Kyle Mills who has been under a bit of pressure because of critics questioning the legality of his action.

"Everybody has tough times and he's going through one at present. A lot of people in the world have a similar sort of problem. But I am surprised that New Zealand press has targeted him more than anybody else. But he's done well for New Zealand and I hope he is strong enough to get over it."

Ganguly did not want to change batting order in the remaining two games, if they are played at all, as he felt there was little to choose among batsmen at present.

"There's not been anything special done by anybody to change the batting order up and down. So better to stick to it and have faith in the boys."

First Published: Jan 10, 2003 17:49 IST