#CWC15: Stephen Fleming is hoping New Zealand haven’t peaked too early

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming believes New Zealand’s win over Australia will be a huge confidence shot, but believes they need to remain focussed.

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Speaking after the Black Caps’ one-wicket win against Australia at Eden Park last Saturday, Fleming acknowledged the Black Caps knew there was no point in peaking too soon.

“It’s still anyone’s competition,” Flemming admitted. “You’ve seen teams like South Africa have a bad day, you’ve seen Australia have a bad day, and England, but they could be holding the trophy.

“It’s not lost on the team I’m sure, but it could be lost in the euphoria of these performances and it would be a horrible hangover to get to a quarter-final and have your bad day and the team will be mindful of that, but you can’t plan for that.

“You’ve just got to keep pushing forward as though your next performance is going to be your best one,” he added. “If we start to get too reflective or too negative we’ll make that mistake.

Australia v New Zealand - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

New Zealand are four from four, but must avoid the ‘bad day’

“I think they’ve got a pretty good grasp on it and they seem pretty relaxed doing the normal things and just enjoying the road.”

That said, Fleming believes the Black Caps’ World Cup win over Australia in Auckland last weekend had the potential to be a massive psychological advantage for Brendon McCullum’s side.

“This was a big one, just because the line in the sand is drawn whenever you play Australia,” he remarked. “We don’t play them a lot over here and there were a lot of questions, probably more on our side as theirs as we are not as confident as Australia are, but scars can be inflicted and they could have some lasting damage.”

“I think the players will be pretty happy, because they’ve judged themselves against their perceived final opposition and come away pretty good.

“In some ways the lack of playing Australia leaves those question marks and you are star gazing if you look to this game and say you know how it was going to play out,” he continued. “There is still this feeling in New Zealand cricket that we could have a bad day and what you are seeing is a team now measuring itself against the best rather than the middle of the pack.”

 

James Buttler

James has been working as a cricket journalist and broadcaster since 2006.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!

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