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September 13, 2012
New Zealand will be wary of its group-stage opponents in the World Twenty20 and won't look "too far ahead" early in the tournament, its captain Ross Taylor has said. New Zealand are in Group D along with Bangladesh and Pakistan.
New Zealand pulled off a thrilling one-run T20 win against India in Chennai on Tuesday, which capped their tough tours of West Indies and India over the past two months. But Taylor said the threat of the Bangladesh and Pakistan spinners in Sri Lankan conditions would stop his team from being overconfident.
"We've got a tough pool in Pakistan and Bangladesh and we don't want to look too far ahead of those two matches," he said.
"Twenty20 is a game where you now have to play attacking but they do have world-class spinners in their sides and we need to acknowledge that and allow our players to combat it," Taylor said.
New Zealand play Australia and South Africa in two warm-up games before their first match of the tournament on September 21.
"Australia played very well in their last game, I'm sure they'll take a lot of confidence from that. The way [David] Warner and Watto [Shane Watson] batted set a very good platform for the side. Any New Zealand-Australia game is obviously competitive and we'll be looking forward to trying a few things and obviously want us to win the game as well."
On Tuesday, New Zealand, after being in a position to lose for a major part of India's chase, stuck together a few economical overs at the death through James Franklin and Jacob Oram to take them to victory. Taylor, however, said the win shouldn't affect their focus on the upcoming tournament.
"I think it gives you a little bit of confidence but you don't want to get too carried away. It's just one win."
New Zealand's coach Mike Hesson, hinted that the side would start experimenting once they were "confident about our own game".
"It's sort of adjusting to the changing humidity, which will take a couple of days so a couple of good trainings and get ready for the warm-up game. Just making sure we give everyone some decent opportunities. Obviously, the key is once we get to the Bangladesh game, once we feel confident about our own game, we'll certainly give a number of people different opportunities," Hesson said.
He was especially pleased with the side's resilience to respond positively to the Hyderabad Test, Hesson's first match as a coach, to run India close in the second Test in Bangalore and finally notch up a win in Chennai.
"It was certainly a challenging start: playing in Hyderabad was obviously difficult in terms of quick turnaround from the trip to the West Indies. But I thought the progress the guys showed in Bangalore in the second Test certainly showed improvements with the bat especially, in terms of intent and in terms of defensive spells against the spin bowling, I thought we made good improvements there.
"We were frustrated to have the Twenty20 washed out [in Visakhapatnam] but the character we showed in the second T20 against a good side in Chennai gives the guys a lot of confidence heading into the tournament."
The game involved a collision between Kyle Mills and Brendon McCullum as they went to take catch off Yuvraj Singh. Mills, who left the field immediately, will have an x-ray on his left cheek, which Hesson mentioned as a precautionary measure.
"He's going to go for an x-ray today, just of his cheek and just make sure there's no break there. We're pretty confident there's not, but it's always nice to check that out. And he's also got a fairly badly bruised hip so we just have to assess where he's at."
A team decision may be taken on the role of McCullum, who is suffering stiffness in his knee and right arm.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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