England not taking Black Caps lightly

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iol spt pic Stuart Broad

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England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad speaks during a press conference at the team hotel in Auckland, New Zealand.

Auckland - England will not allow New Zealand's recent woes to lull them into a false sense of security, the tourists' Twenty 20 captain Stuart Broad insisted Wednesday.

England head into the tour as firm favourites over the Black Caps, who lost two recent Test matches in South Africa by an innings and have been destabilised by Ross Taylor's axeing as captain in favour of Brendon McCullum.

But Broad pointed to New Zealand's face-saving one-day series win over the Proteas after their Test losses as proof the Black Caps will still pose a threat on the tour, particularly as they will be playing on home soil.

“We know New Zealand have just beaten South Africa in the one-day format and having played a lot of Twenty20 cricket against them, we know they're very dangerous,” Broad told reporters.

“We'll have to prepare for that and get used to the conditions as much as we can. We know New Zealand have some fantastic Twenty20 players and that's who we'll concentrate on... we'll have to be at the top of our game.”

England arrived Tuesday night in New Zealand after winning their recent four-Test series in India 2-1 but losing the subsequent one-day series 3-2.

The tour begins with three T20s, followed by three one-dayers then three Tests.

Broad was reluctant to comment on New Zealand's Test prospects, a format in which the hosts are ranked eighth in the world and England second, saying his side would approach each section of the tour separately.

“If we focus on New Zealand cricket and what is going to happen ahead we'll lose sight of what we need to do,” he said.

The Blacks Caps appear set to be without veteran spinner Daniel Vettori in the Test series as he continues to struggle with an Achilles injury.

“The Test matches against England may be a stretch for me,” he told Fairfax Media, saying he hoped to be back for New Zealand's tour of England in May.

The first T20 international will be at Auckland's Eden Park on February 9.

Sapa-AFP


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