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Aussies might turn to spin for one-dayer

By Adam Cooper 06/12/2005 07:07:42 PM Comments (0)

Brett Lee is a sure thing to bowl with Wellington's breeze behind him, but Australia is warming to the idea of employing spin to seal a Chappell-Hadlee series win over New Zealand.

Lee's stranglehold over the Black Caps makes him the main man in Wednesday's second day-night game.

But the tourists are conscious of the expected low and slow conditions the Westpac Stadium pitch will present and the way their own innings was slowed in game one by spinner Daniel Vettori and medium pacer Scott Styris.

So on Wednesday Australian captain Ricky Ponting could throw the ball to the likes of chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, offspinner Andrew Symonds or legspinner Cameron White to tie down New Zealand's batsmen.

Rain kept the Australians training indoors on Wednesday and Ponting said he, coach John Buchanan and selector David Boon wanted to have a better look at the wicket before finalising a starting XI.

Fine conditions are forecast for the game on Wednesday.

The Australian skipper indicated he was more likely to favour spinners than blood Victorian Mick Lewis as fourth paceman.

"We've got a lot of different options in our side and if the weather happens to be fine tomorrow, this wicket from last time we played here tended to suit the slower bowlers a bit more, it was really slow and didn't bounce much," Ponting said.

"So I think those sort of bowlers will probably come into this game a bit more."

Styris and Vettori were New Zealand's best bowlers the last time Australia played at Westpac Stadium, in February.

The duo also slowed the tourists' innings last Saturday in Auckland when they took 2-45 and 2-29 from their 10 overs.

Australia managed only two boundaries in the middle stages last Saturday and Ponting said it was important to have a settled pair facing the spinners to prevent new batsmen getting trapped against tight bowling.

"We had that the other day, but we lost (Simon) Katich and then myself in quick succession and exposed new batsmen to some very good slower bowling on a pretty difficult wicket," Ponting said.

"It's up to those guys who are in at the crease at that stage to make sure they're getting through those tough periods."

Ponting said although Australian batsmen were more at home on fast, bouncy wickets, they needed to be able to combat Styris' 115kmh mediums better.

New Zealand's area of focus, however, will be dealing better with Lee, whose express pace reaped 3-5 in Auckland.

Vettori, the stand-in captain, said the Black Caps had revisited matches in which they had negotiated Lee well, and was hopeful his batsmen would produce a better effort.

Australian left-armer Nathan Bracken trained on Tuesday after missing Monday's session through a flu, and should be available.

Officials from both sides on Monday discussed security measures to be employed at the ground, which should include a three-row buffer zone and reducing alcohol sales, in an attempt to curb the crowd trouble which marred game one.

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