New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is wary of a “dangerous” England ahead of their World Cup clash in Wellington on Friday.
The Black Caps will be strong favourites to beat England, who began their World Cup campaign with a 111-run thrashing by Australia at the MCG last Saturday.
Hesson is reading little into that performance and has told his team, who have already won their opening two matches against Sri Lanka and Scotland, to be on guard.
“They’re a dangerous side. They’ve got a lot of quality players,” he said.
“Some are in form, some are not so much so. Their seam attack has got good pace and bounce – and they bat pretty deep so they’re a dangerous outfit.”
New Zealand are one of the form teams at the tournament having won 10 of their past 12 one-day internationals and their only defeat to England in Wellington came 31 years ago.
“In a World Cup anything is possible, and they’ve got some very good players,” Hesson added.
“They’ve got a lot of match-winners with bat and ball and we’ve had some pretty good battles with them over the last few years. We expect another good one on Friday.”
New Zealand showed some frailty with the bat in their victory over Scotland as they limped passed a target of 143 with seven wickets down.
That has led to some suggestions in New Zealand that their batting was exposed and that an aggressive style should be toned down for the higher-profile games against England and Australia.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of it but it doesn’t bother me at all,” Hesson said.
“In the last 30 ODIs we’ve been very good. We’re pretty structured with how we play with the bat.
“We’ve got a blueprint that works pretty well and has done over the last couple of years so we won’t be looking to change that any time soon.”
New Zealand have had the busiest start of any team at the tournament and the clash with England will be their third match in seven days.
After keeping faith with the same XI in their opening two games Hesson indicated he would like to stick with a winning formula despite the schedule.
“That’s our best XI at the moment for those conditions,” he said. “Like we said last time, they’ll have to scrub up – see how guys recover.
“Three games in seven days is always challenging but, as I said, it’s more important to get those wins early.”
Hesson did have some grumbles to make after the Scotland win, describing the batting performance as “untidy”, but after reeling in the target inside 25 overs they are already well placed in Pool A with a healthy net run-rate to match.
“First things first was to win the game yesterday but once we got to that position, net run rate was massive,” he said.
“We could have got there none down off 30 overs and ended up worse off than what we’ve ended up being.
“Come quarter-final time, it’s crucial where you finish and we want to finish as high up the ranking as we can.
“If we become even with another side then net run rate becomes a factor.”
Know more about Sport360 Application