Fleming vows to let Vettori rule
Stephen Fleming has promised he will not be a de facto captain on New Zealand’s Test tour of South Africa following his demotion from the leadership after a decade in charge. However, Fleming will try to relieve the pressure on his successor Daniel Vettori by giving him advice on when to bowl himself.
“It’s more just giving him the confidence to come on and bowl because I think that’s his biggest adjustment,” Fleming told the Press. “It’s up to Brendon [McCullum] and myself to give him the confidence or [suggest] maybe that a change is required. That’s probably the only time I would look to influence his captaincy otherwise I would give him his space and let him work his magic.”
Fleming is back with the national squad after a lengthy stint in county cricket during which there was constant speculation over his future and whether he would sign with the Indian Cricket League. He said he was slightly uneasy about returning to New Zealand but his concerns had quickly disappeared.
“It’s been surprisingly relaxed,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous but I guess a little apprehensive about how I’d slide back in but it’s a pretty good squad, a good group of guys. I’ve no axe to grind. I was disappointed I was not captain anymore but it was a small component of what I want to do and where I want to be.”
Fleming will bat at No. 3 in South Africa and he sees the two-Test series as a good opportunity to lift his average, which sits at 39.64 after 104 matches. “My Test average should be up higher than 40 and that’s something I want to achieve but I’ve never been a great goalsetter,” he said. “I tend to put my energy into match situations rather than goals or achievements.”
After the South Africa trip Fleming will settle into the Wellington first-class side to prepare for home Test series against Bangladesh and England.