Dubai, Oct 17 (IANS) Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming, who will be assisting head coach Gary Stead during the Black Caps’ ICC T20 World Cup campaign after guiding Chennai Super Kings to their fourth IPL title recently, has said that the Kane Williamson-led side has a “very high skill set” and the team only needs to get the “right balance” to excel on the big stage here.
The ICC T20 World Cup begins in Oman and the UAE later on Sunday, and New Zealand — who won the ICC World Test Championship Final earlier this year defeating India — will be hoping to add a second ICC title to their cupboard when they begin their campaign against Pakistan on October 26.
“It’s a good squad. We’ve never had as much talent as this within New Zealand Cricket, so getting the right balance and the way you want to play the game is very important. The skill set and what these guys put out, and entertain us with, is very high,” Fleming, who is the CSK coach and helped the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final recently, told stuff.co.nz on Sunday.
Fleming, who is back in the Black Caps’ kit 13 years since his Test farewell, said that acclimatising thoroughly to the conditions in the Gulf would be the key to success in the showpiece ICC event.
“Coming to grips with these conditions will be the challenge in warmup games… is going to be very important, and there’s a couple of key games first up so dealing with pressure and starting the tournament well is a priority.”
Fleming joins chief coach Stead and his staff that includes Luke Ronchi, Shane Jurgensen and Shane Bond as they help the Williamson-led side prepare for the mega event.
“There’s a little bit of time before my MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) spot and it’s just a great opportunity. We’ve talked for a while about sharing ideas and coming into the camp and watching these players who I’m a big fan of. I’m very lucky to have that opportunity,” Fleming said.
New Zealand still have two more warm-up games — against England and Australia — before they play Pakistan in the World Cup.
“I’m doing five days now pre-World Cup and talk about the conditions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which we’ve been playing in, and also cast an eye over and get some ideas back from him (Stead). I’m very proud to get the Black Caps kit back on as well.”
The New Zealand cricket team would be hoping for Fleming to pass on his lessons from coaching some of the best franchise teams around the world to make their campaign successful here.