Kiwi Cairns eyes cricketing landmark
Chris Cairns goes into the first Test against Pakistan on Friday with his eyes fixed on becoming the sixth member of the exclusive club of cricketers to notch 3,000 runs and 200 Test wickets.Updated: Dec 17, 2003 11:59 IST
New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns goes into the first Test against Pakistan on Friday with his eyes fixed on becoming the sixth member of the exclusive club of world cricketers to notch 3,000 runs and 200 Test wickets.
After a string of injuries kept him out of the Test arena for nearly two years, the 33-year-old is back and fired up for his 56th Test.
He needs 147 runs and just three wickets to join Sir Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Sir Garfield Sobers to achieve the distinguished double.
"I've got a bit of apprehension, a bit of anxiety but mainly excitement," Cairns said as the Black Caps trained here on Wednesday.
"I'm not really motivated by statistics, but in this situation with 200 and 3,000 it is probably the one time I'll pay attention to it.
"It will mean something to me but I'm not going to get stuck on it."
Cairns captained New Zealand in place of the injured Stephen Fleming during the recent one-day series in Pakistan and proved himself in good touch with the bat but below his best with the ball.
He took just two wickets at 97 runs apiece and 5.87 an over.
But Cairns needed no reminding that Hamilton is his favourite venue where he took his career best figures of seven for 27 against the West Indies four years ago.
"I love this ground. It's the best wicket in New Zealand and probably the closest one to Australian conditions."
In the Test he will be the fourth seamer behind Daryl Tuffey, Ian Butler and Jacob Oram, and will bat in the crucial number six slot.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell meanwhile reduced his squad to 12 today, releasing offspinner Paul Wiseman.
Batsman Richard Jones will remain with the side as cover for Fleming, although the Black Caps captain had a one-hour batting session with no concern.
First Published: Dec 17, 2003 11:55 IST