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New Zealand and Australia to make the final: Stephen Fleming

Former New-Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is backing the Kiwis to face Australia in the World Cup 2015 final.

ANALYST
News 23 Jan 2015, 05:40 IST
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Stephen Fleming predicts Kiwis in the World Cup final

Former New-Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is backing the Kiwis to face Australia in the World Cup 2015 final. Even ex-skippers Martin Crowe and John Wright have tipped Brendon McCullum’s side to go one better than any New Zealand Cup team and reach the tournament showpiece. 

“New Zealand and Australia to make the final. South Africa will be close and West Indies are the dark horse," Fleming said on the tournament's official site in a question and answer format. 

Fleming noted the strength of the team and mentioned that the squad is blessed with match-winners in every department, and there was plenty of star power to keep an eye on. The Black Caps were showing the signs of this in their current series against Sri Lanka, after beating Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates late last year. 

“All the usual suspects, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and then the bowling group with Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori and possibly Trent Boult," Fleming said.

"The beauty of it is that I could name another three or four players to watch out for – and that's why I'm optimistic about the cup." 

He had tweeted earlier that he believed New Zealand that the current squad had "a great chance of doing something special, given form, a little luck and continued positivity".

Fleming, who has played in four World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in 1999 and 2007, felt the 2003 tournament in South Africa was the biggest missed opportunity during his time. He said, "We didn't achieve what we should have achieved … I felt that was one of our most talented sides,"  

Fleming has played 33 World Cup matches, scoring 1075 runs at a respectable average of 35.83.

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