x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Clarke wants to continue winning form

Australia touched down in New Zealand yesterday and the Twenty20 captain is looking to add the scalp of the Kiwis to go with Pakistan and West Indies.

Australia touched down in New Zealand yesterday with Michael Clarke, the side's Twenty20 captain, looking to add the scalp of their antipodean neighbours to that of Pakistan and the West Indies in their quest to carry on their winning momentum ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in April. Australia begin their five-week tour, which also includes five one-day internationals and two Test matches, with the first of two Twenty20 matches against Daniel Vettori's side in Wellington tomorrow as they look to build on their impressive summer which saw them finish 2009/10 undefeated on home soil.

With the World Cup getting under way in the West Indies in April, Clarke has vowed there will be no let up from his side as they aim to continue their impressive winning streak. "It's important for us to get that momentum leading up to the World Cup," he said. "We haven't been as good as we would have liked in this format of the game and we've set goals to continue to play good cricket in all three forms of the game.

"We've been training hard. New Zealand have got a wonderful Twenty20 side and we know we're going to have to be at our best. These two games are great preparation leading into the Twenty20 World Cup." New Zealand's main strike weapon with the ball is Shane Bond, who returns to the side after recovering from an abdominal injury. Bond has played some of his best cricket against Australia, taking 35 wickets at 14.45 in 12 one-day matches. Vettori acknowledges that senior players such as himself and Bond will need to be at their best to beat their trans-Tasman rivals.

"I think experienced players always need to carry the side in big games. If we can do that it will give us a chance." * With agencies