England, New Zealand say Aussies are beatable
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Player:SP Fleming, J Lewis, JDP Oram, SE Bond, KD Mills
Event:Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07

DateLine: 23rd January 2007


Australia's shaky performances in their last two triangular series one-day matches have boosted England's and New Zealand's belief that the home side is beatable. The Aussies are still on course for an unbeaten summer and their narrow two-wicket win over the Black Caps at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday was their eighth successive victory in one-day internationals. But New Zealand arguably cost themselves an upset win with three fielding blunders. Australia's uncertain performances, particularly their top order frailty in the last two games, have left New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming convinced that the right game plan can undo the World Cup favourites. England seamer Jon Lewis, who claimed four wickets against the Australians last Friday, echoed Fleming's sentiments and said his side believed they could beat Australia. "They're definitely not unbeatable," Lewis said Monday in Adelaide ahead of his side's clash with the Kiwis. "They're a very, very good side and full of very good players, but I think we can beat them definitely. The game against Australia on Friday is definitely a game we can win. The guys are very confident, we've got great spirit in the camp and we're all keen to win a game against Australia. They're playing good cricket at the moment, but we need to just keep fighting, scrapping because we've really fought hard in the games we've played, and if we keep scrapping we will turn a result around against them." But England have an important clash Tuesday against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval before they can focus on the Australians. An England victory would put them in a very strong position to reach the tri-series finals, as they would be two wins ahead of the Kiwis. Despite being winless, the Kiwis are themselves growing in confidence. Buoyed by their narrow loss to the Australians, they are set to regain imposing all-rounder Jacob Oram for Tuesday's game after a hamstring strain. Seamer Kyle Mills, who has been sidelined by a knee problem, has also joined the squad in Australia and could play in Adelaide. Mills conceded it was a must-win game for the Black Caps. "It's a pretty crucial game for us. If we can win we'll be back on level terms with England and then have four games to go," Mills said. "There's still a fair bit of the series to go but this one is very important for us for the rest of it." Fast bowler Shane Bond is expected to recover from back soreness to be fit for the clash with Australia in Perth on Sunday.


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