Women's World Cup Preview - New Zealand
Although this New Zealand side bears plenty of resemblance to the one that finished as runners-up to England four years ago, their progress since then has been disappointing.
The team that won the trophy in 2000 has won just 13 ODIs since the 2009 tournament, where they beat England en route to the final, which they lost by four wickets.
Where has it all gone wrong? There are some mitigating circumstances which explain an abysmal win percentage of 35 since that day in Sydney. But for two matches against India, they have only come up against Australia and England in that period, and there is no shame in being unable to beat those two sides on a consistent basis.
In Suzie Bates, they possess one of the best top order players in the world. The White Ferns have been guilty of an over-reliance on her batting and more often than not, when Bates goes big, they do well, and when she fails, they struggle.
They need the likes of Sara McGlashan, Amy Satterthwaite and Frances Mackay to make meaningful contributions regardless of whether Bates is at the crease or not – like they did in an impressive warm-up win over England.
Their bowling lacks the penetration of their main rivals. Arguably, only Sophie Devine or Sian Ruck would get into the England or Australia side although the return of Lea Tahuhu has strengthened them in that regard and they will need off-spinner Lucy Doolan to feature prominently if they are to succeed in India.
A loss to India, where they could only take two wickets in 43 overs, in their warm-up game showed up their struggles to a tee. Bates made 27 and although McGlashan and Mackay did contribute, more was needed; so too from the bowlers, who made little impression. Turning round one day later to beat England highlighted that on their day, they can beat anyone. Can they find the consistency?
Although not the side they were in 2009, they cannot simply be ruled out. They have a proud history of strong World Cup performances and along with Australia, have never failed to finish in the top four.
If Bates can inspire them and get some much-needed support from her team-mates, there is absolutely no doubt that they have enough to push Australia and England for a final spot. Along with a strong showing from hosts India, a decent performance from New Zealand could be exactly what the tournament needs.
2012-13 Form (most recent games first): LLLWLLLLAA
19th December 2012: lost to Australia by seven runs in Sydney
17th December: lost to Australia by nine wickets in Sydney
14th December: lost to Australia by four wickets in Sydney
12th December: beat Australia by eight wickets in Sydney
5th March: lost to England by six wickets in Lincoln
3rd March: lost to England by 59 runs in Lincoln
1st March: lost to England by 5 wickets in Lincoln
29th January: lost to Australia by 9 wickets in Sydney
27th January: No result v Australia in Sydney
25th January: No result v Australia in Sydney
Previous Tournament Performances
1973: Third place
1978: Third place
1982: Third place
1988: Third place
1993: Runners-up to England, beaten by 67 runs in the final
1997: Runners-up to Australia, beaten by five wickets in the final
2000: Champions, beating Australia by four runs at home
2005: Losing semi-finalists, beaten by India
2009: Runners-up to England, beaten by four wickets in the final
1st February v South Africa in Cuttack
3rd February v Pakistan in Cuttack
5th February v Australia in Cuttack
Suzie Bates (captain), Amy Satterthwaite (vice-captain), Kate Broadmore, Nicola Browne, Rachel Candy, Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Lucy Doolan, Sara McGlashan, Frances Mackay, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest, Sian Ruck, Lea-Marie Tahuh
© Cricket World 2013
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Group B: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
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