'The Natural' raring to go
New Zealand allrounder Jeff Wilson could not contain his excitement at the prospect of making his return to official international cricket against Australia on Thursday night in the Twenty20 clash at Eden Park.
New Zealand allrounder Jeff Wilson could not contain his excitement at the prospect of making his return to official international cricket against Australia.
Wilson, who represented the All Blacks rugby union team for the majority of the last decade, is raring to go in the inaugural Twenty20 match in Auckland on Thursday.
"The Aussies are the world's premier team but we're a pretty accomplished one-day side too, and I'm looking forward to being a part of the challenge," Wilson told Reuters.
The 31-year-old also believes that the current New Zealand team have the ability to beat Ricky Ponting's world champions if they perform to their true potential.
"As a team, we're under no illusions about how tough it will be or how good they are; but it's simply a matter of playing consistently well against them, and grabbing all our chances."
New Zealand coach John Bracewell claims the Otago star, who played in the unofficial matches against the World XI last month, has impressed in his return to competive cricket.
"Jeff has slotted in very well and probably surprised a few people, especially with his pace. He has given us glimpses of his potential and now he will get the chance to give us an eyeful," Bracewell said.
"His skills complement our side and along with the other 12 guys will ensure that the series against Australia is a hard fought one."
Meanwhile, Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming has issued a warning to the visitors that his team have a score to settle with them after the Chappel-Hadlee series-decider between the two Trans-Tasman rivals was rained out in Brisbane last year.
"We felt pretty competitive against them in Australia [in December] and that comes from our success rate," Fleming told The Australian.
"There's obviously unfinished business from Australia, where there were a couple of close games. If that's an indication of the series to come, it should be a ripper."