Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day

'We are being thumped' - Fleming

Peter English

November 28, 2004

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Stephen Fleming, who entered the tour with a mystery illness picked up in Bangladesh, has spent the best part of three days trying to stop a "thumping". Today he got a composed 83 but his side was again struggling as he faced the press. For Australia Glenn McGrath took four wickets for a career total of 461, passing the combined record of Dennis Lillee in Tests, World Series and Rest-of-the-World matches.



Stephen Fleming scored a fine 83, but was one of four victims of Glenn McGrath © Getty Images
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Stephen Fleming
On his health in the heat
It's pretty draining for all concerned and making decisions adds to it. I'm still feeling pretty good when I bat because you have to. It was good to get through last night and start with a clean bill today.

On how the heat is affecting the team
Most of the guys are in bed by 9 or 9.30pm. It's not a 100 [for me today] but I had plenty of energy left when I got out.

On walking after edging McGrath
I thought it was pretty obvious and didn't want to hang around. I've got no real personal stance, some days I find myself walking off, some days I don't. Some days it may equate to being obvious, other days I think I may try and get away with it. It just depends on the mood.

On getting out between 50 and 100
The last two years have been pretty good, I'm four and two in the right favour. I thought [McGrath] bowled a brilliant over and it was a genuine dismissal. My concentration was good up to then, and I'm not going to turn out a hundred every time. In the last two years it's been proper batsmanship.

On how the day went for New Zealand
It was another disappointing one on this tour. They played extremely well, the lengths they bowled were outstanding and they've got the variation in Shane Warne.

On what sort of target they will face
They'll probably leave us 800 and we'll probably knock them off in two sessions. I guess they'll bat till lunch tomorrow. Paul [Wiseman] was getting a few to turn and Shane will always get turn, but something could be achieved if there are a couple of heroes in our side.

On the ear infection to Scott Styris
It is disappointing when you need all hands on deck and he's batting so low down. It exposed the tail a lot earlier than we would have like but it couldn't be helped. When you are down things tend to spiral on you.

On the overall situation
The bottom line is we are being outplayed. We are being thumped.

Glenn McGrath
On beating Lillee's combined record
Dennis was always a hero of mine when I was growing up and someone to look up to. Even people classing me alongside Dennis is a huge wrap, but I'd never class myself equal or above him. When you see Dennis's record it shouldn't be 355 wickets, it should be 459.

On why Lillee was great
He was a fast bowler's fast bowler. Some people think I'm a bit boring and don't have the same charisma and open aggression as him. Whether or not you'd get away with it now is a different thing.

On his bowling today
It was hard work and at 0 for 40 things weren't looking too good. They seemed to be scoring runs, there were a few edges, the luck seemed to be going to the Kiwis. If I kept it in the right areas I thought it would turn sooner or later. To walk off the park with 4 for 66, I'll take that any day. It was good to get a few wickets for confidence.

On the pitch
It was pretty flat, there wasn't much sideways movement. When I was bowling to Fleming there was a bit of reverse-swing. Warney will come into his own in the second innings.

On not enforcing the follow-on
There's still two full days to go in this Test. Just because we are 300 runs in front people think we should enforce the follow-on. The guys will get a rest, maybe two sessions to freshen up a little bit, and then come at them again when we've got [a lead of] 500-plus.

On New Zealand's performance
Fleming and Nathan Astle looked comfortable and put on a decent partnership. We thought if we could knock one or both of them over that was the key. For the rest we just got the balls in the right areas. Jason Gillespie was the pick of the bowlers and we bowled well considering the conditions.

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