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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 09:27 GMT
Australia dismiss talk of 'panic'
Mike Hussey
Hussey's men have struggled with injuries and loss of form
Mike Hussey insists Australia can find their form at the World Cup despite losing their one-day rankings top spot.

The Aussies were beaten by five wickets by New Zealand to make it four straight defeats and five losses in six games.

But stand-in skipper Hussey said: "It's not ideal but though we're disappointed the spirit is okay. We can't afford to panic and make wholesale changes.

"We have to trust our personnel, our own games and each other. I know if we keep working hard we'll be fine."

Australia are in their worst sequence in limited-overs cricket since 1997, when they lost five matches in a row, and have been hit by injuries to key players ahead of next month's World Cup in the Caribbean.

They made 336-4 in Auckland but saw that overhauled by the hosts with eight balls to spare.

I still think we've got the right people in the team and in the squad

Mike Hussey

It was New Zealand's first triumph in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, having romped to a 10-wicket win in Friday's opening game, and the second time within a year that Australia have set a big target and lost.

South Africa made a world-record 438-9 to stun the Aussies in Johannesburg last March.

But Hussey is confident his team will be fine when they defend the World Cup, which they have won in the last two tournaments in 1999 and 2003.

"I know big totals being chased down is an area of concern and we're going to have to get better at it," Hussey, who made 105 on Sunday, added.

"But I still think we've got the right people in the team and in the squad. I actually don't think we did too badly with the ball and in the field.

"A few things didn't go our way, we had a few very close shaves, and on another day they might go our way."

We've tried to maintain a positive feel but we didn't expect the results to be as spectacular as the last two

Stephen Fleming

Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming was left to revel in the glory of another famous victory over his country's illustrious neighbours.

Fleming's men went into the series on the back of six defeats in eight games in the recent tri-series in Australia and even he was surprised by the quick change in fortunes.

"It was an amazing day, great for the game and great for us to get across the line in a big-scoring match," he said. "We've fallen short numerous times against Australia.

"A lot of work has been done behind the scenes, we've been smart off the field, but the performances have let us down on it.

"We've tried to maintain a positive feel but we didn't expect the results to be as spectacular as the last two.

"Scores of around 300 and over are now gettable and teams believe they have a chance if the conditions are right."

Defeat costs Aussies top ranking
18 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Australia in New Zealand 2007
03 Feb 07 |  Future tour dates


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