Lawson rates final Oz-Kiwi ODI as vital for Proteas tour preparations

February 12th, 2009 - 2:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb.12 (ANI): Former Test fast bowler and Pakistan cricket team coach Geoff Lawson has warned Australia that winning the final Chappell-Hadlee clash is vital to their preparations for the tour of South Africa.
With the series currently tied at two all, Fox Sports quoted Lawson as saying: “Winning this last game is very important because you have already seen that winning the last two one-day games has changed the complexion of a lot of things.”
“Australia will go to South Africa with a lot more confidence if they can win the Chappell-Hadlee trophy. But if they lose in Brisbane, there will be a lot of doom and gloom again, the world could come down on their shoulders,” he added.
Australia’’s task in the decider could be complicated by the potential absence of vice-captain Michael Clarke with a back injury.
Clarke sustained the back complaint while fielding during the six-wicket victory against the Black Caps in Adelaide on Tuesday.
Clarke was ordered by team medicos to travel directly to Brisbane and was reportedly “devastated” at being forced to miss the visit he arranged for the Australia side to the bushfire-ravaged Victorian town of Whittlesea.
New Zealand’’s premier batsman Ross Taylor says the team is determined to win the series.
“It’’s a final, a must-win game. The Chappell-Hadlee series means a lot to New Zealand,” said Taylor, who top-scored with 76 in Adelaide.
“We thrive as underdogs. We are in the final and hopefully we can win,” he added.
Meanwhile, skipper Daniel Vettori has declared himself fit to lead New Zealand at the Gabba despite incurring a hamstring “twinge” on Tuesday night.
“These are the games you play cricket for. It is like going to a World Cup or Champions Trophy final and that is why we want to get excited about it. It is pretty important to us and fans back home,” Vettori said. (ANI)

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