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Vettori backs the Twenty20 spinners

Spin bowlers will play a very significant role at the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa next month.

That's the view of one of the world's top spin bowlers, Daniel Vettori, who has been named captain of the New Zealand squad to play in the T20 tournament.

Speaking during a teleconference with South African journalists on Thursday, Vettori said recent results in England had shown that spinners could play a very important role in T20 cricket.

"I think it is important that the spin bowlers look to take wickets, and I think an aggressive approach will be successful," he said.

Vettori said he was excited at the prospect of leading the Black Caps on an overseas tour for the first time.

"I've captained the side before, but being announced as the captain to take the team overseas has a different feel. Regarding my style of captaincy, I'm a bowler and that brings a different dynamic to the team. I have a good understanding of what we need to do with the ball and in the field.

"I have only played one Twenty20 match, but many of the others in the team have a lot of experience. Even though the games are very short, we can have a formulated game plan, which we can adapt according to the situation. As far as the batting is concerned, we need the batsmen to be aggressive, but they also need to play themselves in before they start hitting out.

"I think it will be great fun. There's a good feel to Twenty20 cricket - there are usually good crowds, who have a more relaxed approach," said Vettori.

He said he did not believe the absence of the longtime Black Cap captain, Stephen Fleming, would have much influence on the way New Zealand played. Fleming retired from one-day cricket after the World Cup in April, and was left out of the team for the T20 tournament.

"Obviously, he has a huge presence, but most of the group had been prepared for him to be left out of the team for this tournament. Cricketers adapt pretty easily, and I don't think there will be too much problem."

Vettori said based on their performance in the World Cup in the Caribbean, Australia had to be favourites to win the inaugural T20 tournament. However, he thought South Africa would be among the frontrunners.

"I don't think they stand a chance without Jacques Kallis," he joked, but then added that there were some exciting new faces in the South African team.

"I haven't seen them myself, but our A side ran into them at the Emerging Players tournament in Australia, and they were very impressed. So I think, taking into account the home ground advantage, South Africa have a very good chance.

"We also have a few new faces, but the core of the New Zealand side has been settled for some time," said Vettori. "I expect us to do pretty well. We've had a good break since the World Cup, but our New Zealand weather means we haven't been able to practice outdoors, so we are looking forward to getting to South Africa and getting back onto the grass. Most of our players have been to South Africa before, so they won't have problems getting used to conditions there."

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