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New Zealand on the 'right track', says McCullum

The New Zealand captain believes the team is capable of winning the tournament if they improve in a few areas

New Zealand on the 'right track', says McCullum - Cricket News
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum.
Brendon, you would have preferred to play the game, but that's not the worst outcome for you, is it?
No, yeah, definitely would have preferred to have a full game play, but we'll take the point and obviously know that we're one good performance away from the semi-finals.
Brendon, when did the New Zealand camp first start hearing rumors about David Warner and the potential discipline breach?

I thought that might have been the first question, but I see we got through that one.
I apologize.
Thanks, mate. No, I started hearing a bit of a whisper obviously late last night and then this morning. But it's really got nothing to do with us, and I don't want to speak on something that we don't know anything about either. I'm sure we can leave that one for George to answer.
Was it a strange is scenario, I suppose, for you to face this morning?
What? That Dave wasn't playing in the game?
Again, I don't really want to speak to what's going on because I have no concrete evidence behind it. So from my point of view, we knew that Australia was going to be a good team regardless, whether Dave Warner was in the order or not. We very much focused on how we're going to play our game rather than worrying about the distractions of who was going to be on the team.
New Zealand had the odd disciplinary issue itself to deal with. How much can it destabilize a team in a competition or series in your experience?
Yeah, we've had some issues in the past as well, and it's never great, but it depends on how good your team spirit is and how good your structure is around it to be able to fight your way through it. Sometimes things like that can galvanise a unit as well. So, look, again, I'd rather sort of speak about today and also the game that's coming up versus talking about Davie.
Irrespective of the David Warner situation, was there a feeling in the New Zealand camp that Australia were there for the taking today?
We were confident heading into the game. We knew that while Australia may not be the great team it once was, it's still a very good cricket team, and they've still got some experience within their group as well and some match winners throughout their lineup.
But we prepared ourselves well. We didn't execute as well as what we could have, but I still thought we did an okay job with ball in hand today, and down, obviously, with our two batsmen that we've got Ross and Kane at the crease, starting to formulate a partnership. We're hopeful that we're going to give ourselves a chance later on.
But it's still a very good Australian team, and we're incredibly respectful of that heading into this game.
You've played England a fair bit this summer already, and performed pretty well against them. I know you didn't get to see much of Australia tonight, but based on what you have seen of both teams and the situation with Australia at the moment, do you see any hope for them in the Ashes?
Look, it's obviously a different form of the game, and we've played England a lot recently, and it's been a few while since we've played against Australia in Test cricket and they've obviously had a few changes as well. So it's hard to comment on their team. But I think the England team is a very good Test team, and we saw them flex their muscle against us after what were four pretty hard fought Test matches and they showed how good a team they can be when they get all of their things in order. I think in home conditions, they'll be a tough team to beat, but Australia certainly has the quality amongst them to compete.
Could you speak a little bit about Luke Ronchi? He had a good start today, but then he just got out quickly and he's had a reputation for being a hard‑hitting batsman. But what kind of role do you think you have in mind for him?
Yeah, look, Ronchi's obviously a little disappointed that he hasn't gotten that one big score yet, but his keeping has been very outstanding and he's a very valuable member among the team and an experienced player as well. His role at the top of the order is very much to get us away to a quick start.
Sometimes when you're playing that high‑risk cricket, you can get out cheaply as well. But we're confident that Luke will come good very shortly, and know that when he does, he's going to tear a team apart as well. So we're confident that he has got a big part to play for us in the coming games as well.
How do you see the side traveling after all, and still reasonably confident you're on the right track?
Yeah, confident we're on the right track. We've played good one‑day cricket in the last sort of while. Sometimes we've been a little bit off the ball as well. But I think as a whole, we're playing some decent cricket. If we can just tidy up a couple of those loose areas, you alluded to fielding at times and obviously the bat the other day as well on a very tough wicket. Even today just a little off the ball in parts; we were brilliant at other team times with the ball, and the team was brilliant with the ball. But other times we were just a little bit off.
But if we're serious about thinking we can win this tournament, we need to make sure we tidy up those areas that haven't been quite right, but I still think we're capable of doing that. When we do play a decent game as we have done against the first two games against England in the series, we're a very tough team to beat. So we have to make sure we get those things sorted out and we'll give ourselves an opportunity. 

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