Don’t write off Black Caps, says Wright

KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 23, 2007 (AFP) – Former New Zealand captain John Wright believes it would be a mistake to write off the Black Caps’ World Cup chances despite their crushing defeat to Australia. Stephen Fleming’s men crashed to a 215-run defeat to the defending champions in their last Super Eights match on Friday.

It was the worst possible way to build-up to Tuesday’s semi-final here against Sri Lanka, a side they also lost to, by six wickets, in the second round.

“Don’t write the Kiwis off yet in this World Cup, they are a resolute lot and know how to bounce back, and Sri Lanka will find them a handful at Sabina Park,” said former India coach Wright.

But there are still areas in the team which are a cause for concern for Wright and they were highlighted by allowing Australia to plunder 348 runs in Friday’s match in Grenada.

“Being only being able to scrape 133 (in reply) is an embarrassing performance and not the game you want going into the semi-final of the World Cup,” said Wright.

“It wasn’t a pretty Kiwi dress rehearsal. New Zealand will have to sort out very quickly who will partner Shane Bond (who missed the Australia game through illness) when he returns.