Cricket: Fleming to turn heat on Stewart

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The Independent Online
THE NEW Zealand captain, Stephen Fleming, is confident of compounding England's woes in this summer's Test series and believes his side will be able to put the disappointment of their World Cup semi-final defeat by Pakistan at Old Trafford behind them.

England - and particularly their beleaguered captain, Alec Stewart - are likewise seeking to salve the pain of their dismal showing in the tournament, a first-round exit.

Fleming, however, was yesterday talking up the tourists' chances. "I believe we can beat England if we play to our potential," he said.

"What has happened in the World Cup is a good boost for New Zealand cricket in general and also the rest of this tour. It is not a lift the team needs internally because they already have confidence but for cricket back home in general it is important to do well in the big matches.

"We have two games of cricket coming up [against British Universities and Somerset] in which it is important to get back into playing the longer form of the game. But we have had some good Test results, especially beating India in a series, and at full strength I think we have got a good side who will do well.

"People say England will be in the doldrums and they will have been stung a bit by going out of the World Cup so early. That is the flip side to them going out because they will want to bounce back and they have had time to prepare for the battles ahead with us."

Fleming added: "It's also our job to keep developing our game and we are determined to play attractive cricket - which is contrary to what a few people have said about us and feel we are capable of. I believe we can beat England if we play to our potential which is something we didn't really do in the World Cup despite getting to the semi-finals."