England not down and out

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has refused to rule out England being a major challenge in the Commonwealth Bank Series despite losing Kevin Pietersen to injury.

Fleming told the news organisation AAP that “statistically probably yes we would be favourites over England, but we’re not coming off startling form either, we’re not brimming with confidence.”

Fleming went on to say “If they (England) beat us, then things won’t be as bad for them, but our challenge is to deny them that and keep them down if we can.”

Fleming added that he had seen a chink in Australia’s armour with Cameron White, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke looking to fill 10 overs in, and saw that as a weekness they could exploit.

The Black Caps open up their campaign against Australia in Hobart on Sunday and are looking to field five front-line bowlers with Daniel Vettori batting at seven.

With Hobart being one of the flatest pitches in Australia and generally being more suited to seam bowling, it appears second spinner Jeetan Patel will miss out on selection.

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