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Forget rankings, NZ just want to beat Aus

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6 days ago Steve Zemek
Mike Hesson. Mike Hesson.

New Zealand have a chance to strike a blow to the heart of Australia's pride during their one-day series but coach Mike Hesson insists they'll be content just to get one over on "big brother".

The Australian's world No.1 ODI ranking will go on the line during the three-game Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series, with South Africa to take top spot if there is a Black Caps whitewash.

The Australians are in danger of sliding down the rankings following their first ever bilateral 5-0 series whitewash loss, to the Proteas in South Africa.

The New Zealanders, who sit at No.3 on the ICC 50-over rankings, make no secret that they consider a series win over the Aussies as one of the pinnacles of international cricket.

While a chance to move closer to No.1 on the one-day rankings, having ascended to the top of the Twenty20 rankings, would be in the back of the Kiwis' minds, Hesson says beating the Australians would be good enough for him.

"I think probably at the moment we want to hang onto the Chappell-Hadlee," Hesson said.

"We won it the last couple of times. It's really important for us. Australia are our big brothers and to win a bilateral series against them is important for us.

"If the by-product of that is an increase in rankings, then great. But we tend to look at rankings at the back-end of the season and see how you've gone rather than as a motivation."

The Kiwis retained the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy with a win in the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup and a 2-1 victory on home soil in February.

While the Black Caps squad has their tails up following a 2-0 Test series win over Pakistan, the Australians are facing tough questions after their humbling home Test series loss to South Africa.

Hesson declined to stick the boot into the under-fire Aussies, saying he expected the country's Test troubles to have no bearing on the one-day side.

"I think their one-day side is a heck of a lot more settled than their Test side," Hesson said.

"Their one-day side has been incredibly consistent.

"Bar the South African series they've been good for a number of years. They're currently No.1 in the world so I don't think the unsettled nature of the Test side will lead into the one-day side."

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