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Vettori spots a chink in Aussie armour

Source - news.com.au

Aussies stop-start cricketing schedule this summer could be the biggest chink in their armour ahead of the Chappell-Hadlee series, according to New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori.

While the Australians have been twiddling their thumbs since wrapping up a 2-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka on November 20, the Kiwis have played three one-dayers and a Twenty20 game in South Africa, and the Lilac Hill festival game near Perth last week.

And so with trans-Tasman battle lines to be redrawn in tomorrow's Twenty20 international in Perth, Vettori hopes the Australians' lack of games in the past three weeks will render them slow out of the blocks.

"I hope that is the case. Normally we are a little bit underdone when we come on tours, but we have come off a very tough tour in South Africa and that has put us in good stead," Vettori said.

"I hope that is an advantage that we do have. They have played just as much (Twenty20) as we have, and we got to the same level in terms of the world championships.

"I think it is a game they are starting to take more and more seriously and understand how important it is going to be, like every team around the world.

"You don't find too many vulnerabilities in Australian sides, so I don't imagine we will find too many tomorrow night."

While Vettori is still bedding into the role as his country's captain, following the departure of Stephen Fleming, he will come up against a first time skipper in Michael Clarke tomorrow.

But while much has been made of Clarke's elevation in the temporary absence of Ricky Ponting, Vettori said he believed the incumbent would be around for a long while yet.

"I think it will be a one-off occasion. I think Ricky is 31 or 32, so he is going to be round for a long time," Vettori said.

"I don't imagine he (Clarke) will get too many chances to do it, so it will be quite exciting for him to get this one-off opportunity."

And having rather cut off Australia's newest leader, Vettori said he was also looking forward to playing against another man with captaincy ambitions, Andrew Symonds.

With Symonds admitting in a newspaper column he also harboured dreams of captaining his country, Vettori said he was just looking forward to bowling at him, and extending his own success.

The 28-year-old skipper has dismissed the Queensland all-rounder eight times in one-dayers - more than any other bowler - and said he had no fear of Symonds or any of the Australians.

"I have bowled to Symonds on numerous occasions, and probably had the better of him most of the time," Vettori said.

"I don't think you ever worry about guys in particular form, you go out there and worry about your game.

"I know our team won't be worried about certain guys because we have played them so much.

"Either team that wins the game tomorrow takes that confidence into the one-day series.

"It is a short and sharp (tour) ... so any team that can create that advantage will make the most of it."

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