Ross Taylor Prepares for India v New Zealand | ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Variety is the spice of life and Ross Taylor says New Zealand have the diverse batting combinations to go deep in the World Cup.

  •  The Black Caps protect their unbeaten start to the tournament against India on Thursday
  • They sit top of the standings with three wins from three

Left-hand, right-hand batting combinations can be vital in the one-day game, with Australia coach Ricky Ponting this week revealing southpaw Usman Khawaja’s key role in balancing their order.

The Black Caps open up with right-hander Martin Guptill and left-hander Colin Munro, with Kane Williamson and Taylor complemented by lefties in Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham lower down.

India, who face Taylor’s side tomorrow, have seen the left-hand, right-hand opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, that has yielded 16 ODI tons, broken up by injury.

“Shikhar and Rohit have got a very good partnership, and they complement each other well because they're right and left handed,” said Taylor.

“Shikhar is a big loss to India. He has a great presence, he plays very well at ICC tournaments and has a very good record in England.

“In terms of our line-up, we've had a similar, balanced side for a long time and when you do have a left-hand, right-hand combination it puts pressure on the bowling side in different ways.

“At a lot of these grounds they have a short boundary to one side, and if you have two right-handers you can't exploit it as much, whereas when you have right or left you can take advantage.”

Taylor is ranked third in the ICC ODI batting rankings, with only India’s Virat Kohli and Sharma placing higher.

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019’s group phase has been highly competitive with eight nations already recording wins and nine getting points on the board.

Taylor's Black Caps top the tree with three wins from three, but the 35-year-old still sees a host of rivals very much in contention to lift cricket's greatest prize at Lord's on 14 July.

"I think it's early on but realistically, seven teams are still in the hunt," said Taylor.

"If you get onto a roll towards the end of the group stage, you can get into that crucial semi-final.

"Then whether you're top seed or fourth seed, you're only two wins away from lifting that cup.

"I think I could mention five or six teams who are playing well.

"But at the end of the day, we're three from three, very happy with where we're placed while knowing we've got some big challenges ahead."