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January 10, 2007
Tom Moody, Sri Lanka's coach, believes New Zealand's batting woes are overstated, and that there is no need to panic ahead of the World Cup. Youngster Ross Taylor's maiden ODI hundred apart, New Zealand's technical problems at the top of the order alarmed many, with plenty of lbw dismissals against Sri Lanka.
"I don't think they've got too many major problems," he told reporters after the final ODI at Hamilon was washed out. "They've got the talent here and when you get those guys back on deck it really sorts the balance of the side out.
"It's easy to point the finger at the batting now but you might find in the Commonwealth Bank Series [in Australia] the likes of Taylor or [Hamish] Marshall suddenly establishes themselves as a top notch international player."
It wasn't all smooth talking, however, as Moody brought up the small matter of playing a red-hot Australia at home. "Australia is a hard place to tour for any team, particularly with a team as hungry as they are at the moment," he said. "It will be good tough cricket but Australia will obviously be the dominant team in the contest."
New Zealand open their tri-series campaign on Sunday at Bellerive Oval with the uncomfortable reminder of their dismal total of 73 in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka. Scott Styris, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills are expected to make the trip to Australia when they've proved their fitness.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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