Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Use big game players, says Fleming

Former captain Stephen Fleming has called for the New Zealand cricket team to maximise the use of big game players, minimise tinkering and maintain accuracy if they are to progress to the semifinals at the World T20 in Sri Lanka.

New Zealand lost to the hosts in the super over yesterday morning, creating a must-win match against England tonight in Pallekele.

Fleming is keeping an eye on the tournament as he prepares his Chennai Super Kings side for the Champions League in South Africa next month.

As New Zealand captain in 218 one-day and five Twenty20 internationals, few are better suited to talk about how to maintain equilibrium in teams under pressure at limited overs tournaments.

"The shame of it is the camp will have made a specific target of that game," Fleming said.

"You don't have to be a genius to work out a win would've been a big boost to morale. That loss will have hurt in a competition which I'd expect to be reasonably close from here. While it's disappointing for New Zealand, the tournament needed that contest. It had started to fray at the edges.

"New Zealand still has every chance of progressing because they're doing so many things right, although, judging by last night's second match, the West Indies will be the toughest to beat.

"All it takes is for a Brendon McCullum or a Ross Taylor to score a match-winning knock with support from other batsmen. Yes, these other two teams have big hitters like (Chris) Gayle and (Eion) Morgan - there's no easy way out - but McCullum and Taylor are not out of their depth in that company. It's time to be brave and show courage."

Fleming says such qualities appeared in the form of Tim Southee's bowling.

"It didn't surprise me to see Tim bowl well at the death," Fleming said. "He did that well for us a couple of times at Chennai in 2011 defending single-figure last over requirements. I expect him to keep doing it."

Andrew Alderson flew to the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka courtesy of Emirates Airline.

NZ v England
Pallekele Stadium, Kandy, 9.45 tonight live SS31

- NZ Herald

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