Expect an aggressive tempo to define New Zealand's Champions Trophy campaign in England and Wales.

The average run rate of teams playing one-day internationals in Britain since the 2015 World Cup is 6.14. Teams posting less than 300 at the tournament will do so at their peril, as 50-over cricket keeps morphing into Twenty20.

The Black Caps play Australia tomorrow night in their opening pool match at Edgbaston, followed by England on Tuesday and Bangladesh next Friday, both at Cardiff.

Two years ago New Zealand lost their last ODI series in England 3-2. The hosts subjected the Black Caps to a revamped limited overs approach after failing to make the World Cup quarter-finals. The 3151-run tally was a record for a series of five matches or less. That has since been surpassed by the 3159 scored between hosts Australia and India in 2015-16.


Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Jos Buttler piled on the runs, with support from Ben Stokes and Alex Hales. That quintet remain in the current England squad and have refined their strategy since. They know how to unleash. That is reinforced by England, according to Cricinfo, having the highest run rate - 6.28 - of the eight teams post-World Cup.

The tournament might also be tinged with emotion for players who have close links to Manchester after the recent terrorist attack. Solidarity will abound.

To a lesser degree, the Australians also have reason to band together after the ongoing divisions with their board over contracts. Winning the tournament might advance their negotiation prospects.

New Zealand hold the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, but memories of their 3-0 ODI defeat last December are still relatively fresh.

After those two contests, Bangladesh will enter the final pool match with confidence after notching their first away ODI victory against New Zealand during the recent tri-series in Ireland.

In a nod to their explosive ambition, the Black Caps are expected to use Luke Ronchi rather than Tom Latham as their wicketkeeper-opener, despite the latter's century and two half-centuries from four innings as skipper in Ireland.

Ronchi is considered a better gloveman, and his batting will be used as a high-risk weapon to try to wrest games away from the opposition in a matter of overs. That tactic becomes an option because of the faith placed in Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor as safety nets at Nos 3 and 4. With Ronchi given license to act as an aggressor, it might give fellow opener Martin Guptill a better chance to build an innings.

Ronchi contributed 37 off 26 balls and 35 off 31 against Ireland, and 27 off 27 balls and two off five against Bangladesh. He continued with 66 off 63 balls in the practice match against India. The hope is he blitzes similar cameos throughout the tournament.

Inclement weather in Birmingham has seen the covers remain on for long periods at Edgbaston, increasing the chances of New Zealand playing Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Adam Milne as three specialist pace bowlers rather than bolstering the spin attack with Jeetan Patel on his Warwickshire home ground. Mitchell McClenaghan's sore knee is being monitored.

If Mitchell Santner plays as the sole spinner, Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are likely to get the nod as all-rounders over Colin de Grandhomme because of their stronger ODI batting. Neesham is attempting to recover from a knock on his knee, received before New Zealand's final warm-up against Sri Lanka.

If conditions are deemed conducive to spin, de Grandhomme might replace Neesham as a better bowling all-rounder and bolster an attack which would drop Southee or Milne, depending on how much swing or seam movement is present.

Possible New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.