England hit by injuries for New Zealand match

Last Updated: Monday, January 29, 2007 - 15:27

Sydney, Jan 29: England could be without three key players for Tuesday`s must win one-day match against New Zealand in Perth

Fast bowlers James Anderson and Jon Lewis will both miss the tri-series game because of niggling injuries while captain Michael Vaughan remains a doubt with a hamstring problem.

England`s stand-in skipper Andrew Flintoff said a final decision on Vaughan would not be made until the day of the match but the signs were not encouraging.

"Vaughan is doubtful, there is a doubt surrounding his fitness," Flintoff told a news conference on Monday.

"I think the final decision will be made tomorrow, see how he rocks up. He`s done some running out there today but I think a final decision will be made in the morning."

The absence of all three players would be a massive blow to England`s chances of beating a New Zealand team that is brimming with confidence after suddenly finding their form.

The Kiwis thrashed the English by 90 runs in Adelaide last week then smashed 335-5 off Australia`s bowling attack in their eight run loss on Sunday.

Another defeat against New Zealand on Tuesday would leave England needing to win their last two matches, one each against Australia and the Kiwis, just to make the playoffs and salvage something from a disastrous tour.

"I think the one thing now is we can`t dance around it, we have got to be honest with ourselves," Flintoff said.

"We have just got to stand up. I could sit here and tell you all types of different things -- but we have got to score some runs."

The English have been heavily criticised over their performances on tour but Vaughan said the players were desperate to make amends.

"When you are getting beat up most days for the whole of the tour, it has to have some kind of effect," Vaughan said.

"I am feeling a group of players who really want to put it right, and I haven`t heard any of them talking about the plane home or what they are going to do in February."

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, January 29, 2007 - 00:00
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