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Swing bowlers will play a key role: Fleming

He said the conditions favour the bowlers and batsmen would have to put up a different kind of innings.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2005 18:30 IST

Halfway through the cricket tri series, New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is envisaging a key role for bowlers who can swing the ball.

Fleming said the conditions favour the bowlers and batsmen would be compelled to put up a different kind of innings on such "tough pitches".

"It is a kind of pitch where bowlers would have some time in the sun. This would provide movement throughout the day and there is some swing as well. It will be the battle of bowlers for sure," he said on the eve of the match against Zimbabwe.

Ironically, the press briefing of Fleming did not have a word on Zimbabwe, largely on account of the fact that the hosts have been nothing more than pushovers so far.

With Zimbabwe least of their concerns, Fleming was already looking ahead at India and how his team would shape up in view of the 2007 World Cup.

"So many one-day games are dominated by batsmen. I don't mind if the ball dominates the game. It is a tough pitch for sure and would require batsmen to provide different kind of innings."

"Indians have some world class bowlers in their ranks and what we saw of their left-armers in Bulawayo, they were truly top class. I expect them to do some damage on this pitch but we don't mind it."

The fresh confidence with which the New Zealand skipper was brimming is largely because of their performance in this tour where they have swept the opposition with contemptuous ease.

Fleming said the team had been able to achieve good results largely because players have been injury free.

"Australia is a side everyone looks up to and not without reason. It comes from a mixture of everything. They have world class players, depth in confidence and consistency in selection and performance.

"We have suffered with injuries but now we are at full strength. If this bunch remains together for the next year and half, we expect to be strong contenders for the next World Cup," the New Zealand skipper said.

First Published: Aug 30, 2005 18:30 IST