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Aussies, Kiwis prepare for heated World Cup clash

February 24, 2015

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Players from Australia and New Zealand are bracing themselves for a volatile environment when the Pool A powerhouses clash Saturday in a Cricket World Cup match at Eden Park.

New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson fully expects Australia to use sledging or verbal intimidation to try to unsettle the Kiwis who are unbeaten after three pool matches and have joined Australia as tournament favorites.

Combative opener David Warner expects to be the target of abuse from the sellout crowd which will watch the first one-day international between the teams in four years.

Warner is unfazed, saying a hostile crowd will be “perfect” and will bring the best out of the Australia team.

The pugnacious batsman willingly plays the role of pantomime villain, attracting the boos and jeers of opposing fans.

“I hope they come out and boo us and give us crap like they always do,” Warner said of the Auckland crowd. “That’s what’s going to happen.

“We love it, it gets us up and going, gets the adrenaline going for sure.”

Warner has felt the hostility of New Zealand crowds before and says it holds no fears for him.

“You get some obscure swear words and a couple of things thrown at you, but that’s what you expect when you come here,” he said. “It’s happened before. It’s probably going to happen again. But I embrace it.

“They can give it to me as much as they want. I’ll just get it on board and let my bat do the talking.”

Anderson expects the Australians to use sledging to turn the heat on New Zealand but says the New Zealanders are unlikely to follow suit. One of the features of the coaching of Mike Hesson and captaincy of Brendon McCullum has been the discipline of the New Zealand team and its refusal to sledge opponents.

“Their sledging tactics are well known now and something we haven’t involved ourselves in,” Anderson said. “We’re fairly neutral on the field.

“We stick to what we do. We’ll be expecting a bit of heat from them and I guess that’s part of their game plan and we’ll just deal with it as it comes.”

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