Tuffey and Martin`s injuries keep Auckland Aces worried

Hyderabad: The Auckland Aces skipper Gareth Hopkins is confident that senior pacers Daryl Tuffey and Chris Martin will recover in time before the start of their Champions League T20 campaign that starts next week.

Hopkins who has played a few matches for the Black Caps stated, "We have got a couple of injury concerns. Daryl Tuffey got a swollen teeth while Chris Martin has a shoulder injury. We are monitoring how it goes. Hopefully, they will pull through in time otherwise they wouldn`t have been here in first place."

Hopkins admitted that his team is a bit short on experience as most of the youngsters haven`t played in the sub-continent. "My expectations from the team is that the guys will give their 100 percent and we will move into the next round. We are just focussing on performing to the best of our abilities," Hopkins said.

Former Zimbabwean leg-spinner Paul Strang, who is currently coaching the Auckland Aces team told reporters that they intend to take one game at a time. "We are focusing on one game at a time. I know that is something coaches say all the time. But we have got a qualifying phase. Any three teams can go through. We are focusing on the qualifying phase. I would like to qualify. I believe we can."

Asked how he saw chances of his team, he said: "Kolkata and Somerset are two very good teams. It is a tough challenge. But we are prepared as well as we can. We got some good players in our team. Collectively, we may spring a few surprises."

Replying to a query, he said there cannot be an elaborate strategy in T20 matches, he said the players have to be let "express themselves."

Agreeing that some of the players in the team lack the experience of playing in India, Strang said the young players have been told about the conditions and how they should prepare for the tournament. "We have gone a long way towards ensuring that they know what they are going to receive here. The culture, the pitches, the crowds, the heat, humidity.

"It has been a lot of education. Nothing actually beats playing in India. For some young players, it can be a great experience, a frightening one. But I expect them to do well. The experienced players will help them," he said.


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