October 11, 2000

Teamwork the Kiwi key in South Africa - Bracewell

Teamwork will be the key for a depleted New Zealand side on its tour of South Africa over the next two months.

Former New Zealand cricketer John Bracewell said from his Bristol home in England today that despite the injuries which have hit the CLEAR Black Caps, all was not lost.

"I've spent the last two summers in South Africa and their pitches should suit batsmen like Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle, Matt Horne and Stephen Fleming. They are not big movers of their feet.

"That will suit them on South African tracks and if they can't get runs there they'll never get them anywhere.

"Allan Donald is past his best and his best weapon now is his slower ball. It is very well disguised. Their best strike bowler is Shaun Pollock and if they work as a collective they can do it by shutting Pollock out and scoring off the others," he said.

Bracewell added that the development of the New Zealand side was four years later than it should have been but Steve Rixon and John Graham had moulded some good talent into a competitive side and it was now starting to show some strength.

"All those woes they have struck can change very quickly. It is a fact though that our population base is fragile," he said.

England's early departure at South Africa's hands in the ICC KnockOut did not surprise him. He is not overly impressed by England's record of late.

"They beat Zimbabwe and the West Indies. But so has everybody else. They did bowl well to a good plan and Darren Gough and Andy Caddick are a very good combination.

"They do lack quality spin and they lack quality batsmen. They face some tough times when Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart retire soon because they have been such good players for them," he said.