Cricket: Black Caps looking to bounce back

By Kris Shannon

After being dealt a "good hiding" in last night's final Twenty20, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is backing his side to bounce back tomorrow and recapture their one-day form.

The Black Caps don't have an awful lot of time to lick their wounds after the humbling 10-wicket defeat in the rubber match in Wellington yesterday, but perhaps that's just as well.

All the good work from their series-tying second game victory was undone, as England outplayed their hosts in all three facets to claim the first portion of the tour 2-1.

But rather than focus on the two heavy losses suffered in the last week, New Zealand will instead cast their minds back a bit further as they prepare for the start of the three-match ANZ one-day series.

The Black Caps will head into the first game at Seddon Park in Hamilton in winning form, with their 2-1 series win in South Africa coming less than a month ago. It was their first series victory of any kind in the Republic and came against an opposition that at the time shared top spot in the world rankings.

The side that joined South Africa as No 1? None other than England and, although they have since slipped to second, the challenge they will bring will be just as fierce as what the Proteas provided.

The Black Caps passed that test with flying colours, coming agonisingly close to a series whitewash, and Hesson believed his team could do so once again.

"Without a doubt," he said when quizzed on whether New Zealand could triumph. "We've just come off a series win in South Africa, so we're playing good one-day cricket.

"Ross Taylor's been added to that mix so he gives us some more strength and quality in the middle order. And our bowling unit's got some experience and some really good, aggressive youth as well.

"So we're confident going into this series."

That confidence will be shared by their opposition, especially since the cavalry has arrived to boost an already strong squad. With the likes of Alistair Cook, Ian Bell and James Anderson joining up with the side for the longer forms, England will take on a new look from the fresh-faced, but formidable, T20 team.

"Without doubt, Cook, Bell and [Jonathon] Trott obviously add a heck of a lot of quality to that top order," Hesson said. "And Anderson and [Graeme] Swann obviously ask us different questions. We need to make sure we scout and prepare well for those guys, but most of our focus will be on us."

That focus includes finalising a plan for just how to play in the 50-over format. Hesson said that was another goal in the series, especially with New Zealand making a priority of the one-day game leading up to the 2015 World Cup, which they will co-host.

"I think it's just making sure we nail down the blueprint of the style of play we want to play - building good, strong partnerships at the top of the order and therefore able to use our power plays near the back.

"With the ball, it's be aggressive up front and deny in the middle, and fight like crazy in the field.

"That's sort of how we want to be known."

- APNZ

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