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Auckland Aces worried about injuries

Press Trust Of India
Sep 13, 2011 at 07:53am IST

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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's got a swollen tooth 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."

Aces worried about injuries to Tuffey, Martin

Daryl Tuffey's got a swollen tooth while Chris Martin has a shoulder injury.

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.

Meanwhile, Martin expressed confidence of doing well in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament with the qualifiers starting here on September 19.

"Being a bowler, you only have 24 deliveries to make an impact on the game. You have to be pretty careful and deal as the game progresses. I played in the World Cup, played T20 in South Africa and enjoyed taking the new ball. And I want to do well in this tournament," he said following his team Auckland Aces' arrival here.

Asked about his expectations in the CLT20, he said, "As far as the team goes, it is a step by step process. The first game is a big game. Qualifying is the main job."

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