17 Oct 2021

Black Caps stacked with talent: Fleming

7:45 pm on 17 October 2021

Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming describes the New Zealand squad about to tackle the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates as the most talented he's seen.

Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming Photo: Photosport

Fleming steered Chennai to an Indian Premier League-winning 27-run victory over Brendon McCullum's Kolkata Knight Riders at the weekend after the IPL transferred to the UAE in mid-September.

He joins Black Caps head coach Gary Stead and assistants Luke Ronchi, Shane Jurgensen and Shane Bond in the New Zealand camp, and will share his knowledge of the challenging conditions in the UAE.

The Black Caps won their first warm-up games against the Netherlands by six runs on Sunday, and will meet Australia and England in friendlies before their first pool match against Pakistan in Sharjah on October 27.

Fleming rates the NZ squad highly.

"We've never had as much talent as this within New Zealand cricket, so getting the right balance and the way you want to play the game is very important," he said.

"The skill set, and what these guys put out and entertain us with, is very high.

"But coming to grips with these conditions will be the challenge - the warm-up games and the week and a half leading up to the first game is going to be very important.

"Then there's a couple of real key games first up, so dealing with pressure and starting the tournament well is a priority."

Fleming, who played 111 Tests for New Zealand and 279 ODIs, said he was looking forward to pulling on the Black Caps shirt again, and passing on the knowledge he'd amassed from his time coaching in the IPL.

"It's a great opportunity and I'm very proud to get the Black Caps kit back on.

"The T20 is what I've had my head into for so long now. Some of the experiences from coaching the best players around the world - you learn some lessons."

The Black Caps had a strong coaching group, and Fleming said he was expecting to learn from his time there.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's a good coaching group, there's a lot of experience there, and I'll get some stuff coming back my way, so it's a win-win.

"Working with Mitch (Santner) at Chennai, and seeing the other boys around the circuit - there's a lot of good camaraderie, and a real strong connection with these players from past players, which I love."

New Zealand's next warm-up game, against Australia, is scheduled for early Tuesday morning (NZT).