31 Jan 2009

Black Caps can worry Australia: Arthur

6:18 am on 31 January 2009

Victorious South African cricket coach Mickey Arthur says New Zealand's "bunch of scrappers" can give Australia more headaches after their summer reached another low ebb last night.

South Africa snatched the world No.1 ranking in one-day international cricket away from Australia to ice an unforgettable tour with a 39-run victory at the WACA, sealing a 4-1 series win.

And Australia's struggles with bat and ball provides a glimmer of hope for the young New Zealand team ahead of Sunday's Chappell-Hadlee Trophy opener here.

Arthur says he thinks it's going to be a tough series.

A punishing schedule also made it tough for the hosts, Arthur said, with five ODIs against New Zealand in the next fortnight after a tough Test and ODI series against South Africa.

Not long afterward, Australia board a plane for the return series in the republic.

Still, Arthur observed Australia had the incentive to reclaim the world No.1 ranking with a series win over fourth-ranked New Zealand as they defend the trophy they won 2-0 a year ago.

They would also be hurting badly after suffering rare Test and ODI series losses on home soil.