'Poor record will spur on NZ against SA'

Stephen Fleming says his team's poor record against South Africa will act as extra motivation in the six-match ODI series which begins on Friday.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2004 12:55 IST

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming says his team's poor record against South Africa will act as extra motivation in the six-match series of one-day internationals which begins in Auckland on Friday.

The Kiwis have never beaten South Africa in a test series and have only won ine of the 34 one-dayers between the two countries.

"You've got to acknowledge statistically that they've been better than us but a lot of the games could have gone either way," Fleming told reporters on Thursday.

"Lance Klusener is here and he has hurt us in the past and we haven't been the best at the death. But we've improved in that area, so we look forward to getting in those situations again.

"...To not have a win against them in a series of any sort is something that is exciting for the team to try and complete," Fleming said.

New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has not been at his best since returning from a series of injuries but he has Fleming's backing.

"A team without Chris Cairns is one that loses a dynamic player," said Fleming. "If he is replaced it will be by someone that's special."


South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said the warm-up one-dayer against Northern Districts on Wednesday was not as helpful as he had hoped.

The tourists raced to a six-wicket win in 17.2 overs chasing Northern's total of 114.

"We've played a lot of cricket at home and while yesterday's game was good to get us out into the fresh air, from a cricket point of view I wouldn't say it was as beneficial as what we would have li ed," Smith said.

"Tomorrow's going to be a big mental test and how quickly we adapt to the different conditions will be a key. At home New Zealand are a very formidable team and we expect a very hard-fought, tough series."

New Zealand (from): Stephen Fleming (captain), Michael Papps, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey, Michael Mason, Ian Butler, Kyle Mills.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Mark Boucher, Nicky Boje, Herschelle Gibbs, Lance Klusener, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Rudolph, Albie Morkel.

First Published: Feb 12, 2004 12:47 IST