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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Indian seamers on par with Aussies: Cairns

Faisal Shariff | March 13, 2003 11:52 IST

With Kenya moving into the semi-finals, New Zealand will have to beat India on Friday to steal a place in the last four. New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns says the Kiwis will put everything on the line to win the match and set up a final against India after being Australia in the semi-finals.

Wishful thinking, but the Kiwis have always done well in the World Cup, having reached two semi-finals and a quarter-final in the last three editions.

"If we win against India then we should be playing Australia in the semis, and then have an India-New Zealand final," he said, confidently.

Cairns played down the grudge factor between the two sides, saying India, having qualified for the semi-finals, don't have as much to play for as the Kiwis.

"The hunger will be on our side," he said.

He said the Indian team has improved from just about a dozen games ago and shown resolve and commitment to come back and fight.

"Maybe the series in New Zealand was good preparation for both of us. They have played some good cricket led by SRT [Sachin Tendulkar]."

Skipper Stephen Fleming fired the first salvo when he said he would look to open up the wounds of the 5-2 series defeat in New Zealand.

Cairns said, "Fleming is a great captain and he has some tricks up his sleeve for the Indians.

"The Indians were exposed by seam bowling in New Zealand while here it is the same, just that the wickets are much better. In a way, the New Zealand tour was a blessing in disguise for the Indians."

Cairns applauded the Indian seamers, saying though his team is not worried about them, they are on par with the Australian bowlers in this World Cup.

He, however, pointed out a chink in the Indian bowling armoury.

"They [the Indian bowlers] have knocked over sides very easily and their fifth bowler has not been exposed yet. That is what we have to do. Get through the three main bowlers and then expose the fifth bowler."

Cairns confessed his performance has been handicapped to 50 per cent by injury.

"It limits my mental capacity because I love being in the game the whole time. It is strange but I will be looking forward to bowl in Friday's game. I am still underdone, but a few wickets under my belt and that can push you forward. It will be up to Fleming whether he wants me to bowl all ten."

Picking Sachin Tendulkar as the guy to stop, Cairns pointed out to a startling revelation, that the master batsman has scored 75 per cent of the runs for India in this World Cup.

"He looks very hungry and seems to be playing some excellent cricket. With a seven batsmen line-up they are a tough side to bowl to. We don't target anyone. We have plans for everyone and that's exactly what the bowlers are asked to bowl."

Facing a sudden-death game against India, which they have to win to go through to the semis, Cairns, admitted that New Zealand had been in a similar situation in 1999, when they had to beat India to get to the semis.

"We have to repeat that performance."

He played down the episode with Australia captain Ricky Ponting when the teams met on Tuesday, saying Ponting was just being competitive.

"Nothing really, Ricky was charged up about the game and he made it clear to me. It was nothing beyond that."

Disappointed at the loss to Australia, he said the tournament is about a whole and not one game.

Chasing 208, New Zealand were all out for 112 in 30.1 overs.

"We let ourselves down in the batting; we should have got the 200 runs," he lamented.

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Number of User Comments: 31

Sub: Kiwis against the Tigers INDEED!... Pooh!

These NZ guys are really annoyed that they have GOT to win this match to find a birth in the SEMI-FINALS, wherheas India has absolutely ...

Posted by Anu

Sub: Look what happened last time (against PAK)?

Just three weeks ago, Shoaib Akhtar & co. all made big comments on how they are gonna ball fast and target tendulkar early on... The ...

Posted by Abhishek

Sub: Waste of breath

Cairns needs to be reminded of his own captain Fleming's statement (before their Australia match)asking Ricky Ponting not to waste his breath making gas-filled statements ...

Posted by Sriram

Sub: so stupid this Cairns

if he sees of the 40 overs of frontline bowlers, vud he score 100 runs of the 5th bowler's 10-overs quota? ? some logic...huh... one ...

Posted by Prem

Sub: Prime Minister will witness

Our Prime minister will definitely witness India's triumph in this world cup that is for sure. Somone has said that taking the law of averages ...

Posted by Ganesh


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