Fleming has a shot at Aussie attitude - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fleming has a shot at Aussie attitude

By Greg Buckle 01/11/2006 06:06:01 AM Comments (0)

Ricky Ponting and Stephen Fleming might be good mates but that didn't stop the New Zealander from having a shot at the attitude of the Australian team before the Champions Trophy semi-final.

Ponting was asked at a news conference in which departments New Zealand was superior to Australia, and the skipper replied: "None."

Kiwi captain Fleming later countered: "Well that's fair.

"That's the Australian way. They don't like to look upon themselves with any weaknesses.

"Take what you want out of that answer as well."

Australia has won 15 of its past 17 matches against the Black Caps but both captains agree the two teams have enjoyed some thrilling cricket and close contests in recent times.

"It does have a bit more on it, the big trans-Tasman neighbours," Fleming said.

"Probably the Australians would say we place more emphasis on it than they do, but if you look back at the last Chappell-Hadlee series, the games that I saw were pretty special.

"We're always excited when we play Australia because our cricket is measured on how they play against us, and a lot of other countries are as well.

"We think we can compete a lot better than five or maybe 10 years ago."

Fleming is hoping paceman Shane Bond can overcome a hamstring twinge, while batsman Scott Styris is in severe doubt because of a back-hamstring complaint.

Fleming, who has led his side to third in the one-day rankings, said he was looking forward to seeing Bond take on Australia's No.3 batsman Ponting, who is fresh from a 58 on Sunday against India.

"He's got a good record against Australia (22 wickets at 10.45 in six matches) ... and the reason is because he gets up for it," Fleming said of Bond.

"Like a lot of other players, he likes to challenge himself against the best and Australia have had that label for some time.

"That's one contest that certainly excites me (Bond against Ponting).

"The (Adam) Gilchrist-Bond contest is one that really sets the game going."

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