|Player:||MP Vaughan, SP Fleming, A Flintoff|
DateLine: 10th January 2007
Skipper Michael Vaughan's return should make England a much tougher proposition in upcoming one-day matches despite their Ashes thrashing, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming says.
A triangular one day series involving England, Australia and New Zealand starts Friday with a match between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The one-dayer comes a week after Australia whitewashed England 5-0 in the Ashes Test series. But England could still be dangerous despite the thrashing, Fleming said Monday. "It's just how they start and what sort of confidence they get," he told journalists. "They get their skipper back who'll make a pretty big difference and they've got players, the Pietersens and the Flintoffs, who can certainly turn a one-day game on their own." Stand-in skipper Andrew Flintoff was criticised during the Ashes series for his defensive tactics. Commentators felt he had too much on his plate, given his vital bowling and batting roles. Vaughan is returning after a long lay-off with a knee injury. He has been recuperating from a series of operations and has not played for England since December 2005. Fleming said the series will be ideal preparation for New Zealand before the World Cup starting in March. "Beating Australia in its own back yard is very tough," Fleming said. But he added they were not invincible despite being the world's top side in both one-day and Test cricket. Andrew Symonds and Brad Hogg do an adequate job but Australia lacks a world class spinner in the one-day side, he said. With Shane Watson out, they are also short of all-rounders, he added. "But it's pretty well rounded and it's a side that's performed under pressure, so there's not too many chinks in their armour," Felming said. New Zealand have their own problems going into the series, particularly their poorly performing batting lineup. They were skittled for just 73 by Sri Lanka in their one-day encounter on Saturday - their second lowest one day total ever. The 179-run loss was the worst margin ever for the New Zealanders.