Allrounder lacking intensity after back injury March 9, 2007

Styris needs to get 'up to speed'

Cricinfo staff

Scott Styris has been disappointed with his form since returning from a back problem © Getty Images

Scott Styris feels he is "off the pace" after his lay-off with a back injury but remains confident he can be a major contributor in New Zealand's World Cup campaign. Styris has had an interrupted few months since aggravating his problem at the Champions Trophy and has struggled to find form on his return to the ODI side.

His CB Series and Chappell-Hadlee Trophy scores were 34, 16, 17 and 0, and he followed up with 26 in New Zealand's warm-up game against Bangladesh on Tuesday. Styris conceded he would need to lift if he wants to help New Zealand fulfil their World Cup potential.

"My form's there or thereabouts," he told The New Zealand Herald. "I was quite happy when I came back into the side but I think I need to get more up to speed with the intensity of the game, more than anything. There's a massive jump in intensity between our domestic cricket and here, and I've felt a bit off the pace, if anything."

But Styris is comfortable with Caribbean conditions, having made a Test century on debut there in 2002. "I've got good memories from the tour of the West Indies in 2002," he said. "In the one-dayers I had an opportunity to bat higher up the order and did pretty well, and I guess that's where I first persuaded the skipper and the selectors that I could play a front-line batting role."

The slow and low pitches expected during the World Cup would suit his playing style, Styris said. "They also tend to stop and turn a bit, which is conducive to what I try to do with the ball," he said. "I feel I should be able to make a good contribution.

"Having said that, they've got a whole lot of new grounds over here now and the pitches are pretty much an unknown quantity. There's a suggestion that they'll still be low and slow but I haven't seen too many new surfaces play that way. We'll just have to wait and see."

New Zealand's final warm-up match is against Sri Lanka on Friday. They begin their World Cup campaign in earnest with a vital clash with England next Friday.