Brendon McCullum has oozed self-assurance at his pre-match media conference at Eden Park in preparation for New Zealand's World Cup match against Australia tomorrow.

New Zealand will field the same XI they've played in the previous three games, including Tim Southee who suffered a shoulder niggle at yesterday's training.

McCullum acknowledged the importance of the occasion and the impact it could have enhancing New Zealand's status in the upper echelons of the sport but said they've got to stay stable.

"The fanfare and anticipation is big but the guys are in a good space because of what we've done previously.


"However there are many opportunities left to show the skills and our hunger to the world. We've earned some respect in the last 12-18 months with the way we've carried ourselves and the brand of cricket we're trying to play."

McCullum said a key to their performance would be fielding.

"It's the thing we can control in this game. We all want to score runs or take wickets but engaged fielders means you can play with freedom from a captaincy point of view.

"It's a non-negotiable sign of our attitude and how desperate we are to perform. The performance against England is the best I've seen from a New Zealand team."

McCullum believed they were playing a similar brand of cricket to Australia.

"It's an aggressive confident style where we are as positive as we can be, trying to endear ourselves to a public with the manner in which we play.

Australian captain Michael Clarke said he hadn't seen enough of New Zealand play to make a comparison.

Eden Park remains in the 'postage stamp' variety when it comes to ground size. The boundaries at either end mean a scoop shot might only have to travel 44m to the rope.
McCullum said that couldn't be the sole area for protection.


"You need to be smart with the lengths you bowl. The square boundaries aren't overly long either. If you focus too much on back of a length those players capable of good horizontal bat shots come into play. You've got to be smart about using short ball."

McCullum was quick to defuse David Warner's earlier reference about trying make him have a "brain explosion".

"I probably am guilty of the odd brain explosion while batting. I've read reports throughout the week but believe Australia's been nothing but respectful and complimentary about our group."

Clarke neutralised talk of a sledging fiasco.

"It's never impacted my game whether you have success or not. I'm not a big believer in it."