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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 08:28 GMT
Fleming fighting mystery illness
Stephen Fleming
Fleming's side has already been beset by injuries
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming is still unsure whether he will play the first Test against Australia as he battles a mystery virus.

Fleming said he has been sleeping up to 20 hours a day after being laid low by the illness on tour in Bangladesh.

The two-Test series begins in Brisbane on Thursday.

"I will leave it pretty late, but I will give (coach) John (Bracewell) and the team pretty honest indications the entire way through," Fleming added.

A number of our players haven't experienced a Test match in Australia
Stephen Fleming
Fleming said he would play if 75-80% fit and that his participation would depend largely on how he recovered from training on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"A lot depends on how I practise, not so much the quality of how I practise but the fatigue through practise and how I feel two or three hours after," he said.

Fleming's illness comes at a bad time for the tourists, who are already without leading bowlers Shane Bond (back), Daryl Tuffey (knee) and Chris Cairns, who retired recently.

Fleming's deputy Daniel Vettori has never captained the Test team and admitted last week that the team's plans were mainly devised by Fleming.

Because of a sore shoulder, Vettori was rested for the sole warm-up match on the tour, which ended in a nine-wicket victory for New South Wales on Sunday.

"A number of our players haven't experienced a Test match in Australia," Fleming said.

"That's why, being an experienced player over here, it was important to get back, but I would not jeopardise [the team] if I was not right."




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