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February 16, 2013
The changes made to the 50-overs game's fielding-restrictions rules could be the biggest challenge for the bowlers going into the New Zealand-England ODIs, fast bowler Kyle Mills believes.
As per the new rules that took effect from October 30, 2012, only four fielders can be placed beyond the 30-yards circle even outside of the Powerplay overs. This, Mills said, made things particularly difficult for the fielding team at the compact New Zealand grounds.
"That [four fielders outside the circle] is pretty hard to bowl to," Mills told the New Zealand Herald. "And I imagine even more so on New Zealand grounds. Having only four out at Eden Park [Auckland], Hamilton and even Napier is going to be a real test of bowlers' skills. It's going to be a huge challenge for all the bowlers in the series."
New Zealand are coming off a 2-1 defeat to England in the Twenty20 series, but Mills said that will not have a negative impact on the hosts. He pointed to New Zealand's one-day series victory in South Africa last month, which followed a thrashing in the Tests, as evidence that previous results hold no sway over the team's mindset. "I guess we didn't have the battle scars from what happened in the Tests. The nature of international cricket now is, when you're chopping from series to series, and different formats, you can often put things that happened previously to bed quite quickly."
Captain Brendon McCullum also said he expected his team to recover quickly from the loss. "We expected to win the T20 series coming in to it. So to lose it, we are obviously disappointed about that," he said. "But I thought we bounced back straightaway in the second T20 [after losing the first] and I expect us to bounce back strongly in the first game of the one-dayers too.
"That's a characteristic of this team at the moment, our ability to bounce back, and we are going to have to do so in that little while because England will obviously be reasonably confident after the T20 performance, albeit with a new squad of theirs coming in."
The one-day format, McCullum said, suited New Zealand best. "Given our recent results, I think it is [our best format]. I think it's a form that's not so frenetic as well. You can actually play okay in periods of the game, but you're never necessarily out of it.
"In one-day cricket, because it lasts a fraction longer, you are able to fight your way back in to the game. I think we've got a reasonable game plan in one-day cricket as well, especially with our batting.''
New Zealand play the first ODI of their three-match series against England on Sunday in Hamilton.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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