Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day

'We have deserved the criticism'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

November 30, 2004

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Stephen Fleming says his team must learn from this "hiding" and called it a performance that would send "tremors around the world". He shared his thoughts at the post-match press conference where John Bracewell answered questions about criticism in New Zealand and the difference between his Test and one-day records.



Stephen Fleming admitted that it had been a tough learning curve for the team © Getty Images
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Stephen Fleming

On the series result
It's certainly disappointing. It's a comprehensive display by Australia, one of the most comprehensive I've seen. They've gone up another level and some of the bowling during the series was superb. We lacked a bit of sting in our bowling.

On his side's performances
I'm absolutely concerned about some of them. We have deserved the criticism. There have been sessions that have been exasperating for us all. We knew we had to compete in every session. The first two days were fine, then the ante got lifted and we didn't turn up for the next seven. A tough learning curve for the team.

On whether any team can challenge Australia
Teams are going to have their days and have opportunities to win matches, but day-in day-out this team is by far the most superior around. Their displays have been as we expected, but there's more developing to come. It's scary.

On teams to compete with Australia
England are licking their lips and deserve to be full of anticipation. Teams are comparing themselves against Australia and the standard is improving, but at some stage there's going to be a group of guys who can match them. England will have to perform extremely well to compete, but they have the personnel to do that.

On facing Australia
The pressure they created was pretty telling and there were mistakes made from players who normally wouldn't make those mistakes. Every time they play this well they send tremors round the world. We've only got a short period before we have another crack at it and that's exciting.

On any positives from the losses
You've got to be professional and understand the hiding we've taken and walk away a better side for it. I look at how much the players have learnt. You've got to look at how well the Australians have played and try and learn something from it. We've got a group of young bowlers, and even in my situation I'm still learning from these players.

John Bracewell

On criticism of him in New Zealand
I must accept the fact, it's an accountability process and we've lost two Tests in Australia in a row. We haven't lived up to the standard of a wicket that is one of the best Test pitches I've ever seen.

On the differences between his Test and one-day record
I don't let it distract me from my core purpose to lift the side and the individuals within the side. It's a side that has found Test cricket tough over the past 12 months and is endeavouring to put it right.

On the game and mental weakness
We recognise that the third innings is something that has plagued us. Everyone wanted to win the toss here and 500 is what you wanted to get. In other games we competed whether we won or lost the toss and fell away as the game continued, particularly in the third innings. We're looking at it, but it's one of those things that the more you mention it, it can get to you.

On playing Australia
The first time you play Australia is the best time to get them and Jacob Oram proved that. They toughened up on him and he will have to toughen up for the home series, realise where they are going to attack him and expand his game to counter that.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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