The Black Caps kick off the first of five one-day international matches against England this afternoon in Hamilton.

Both nations will want to erase bad memories from a disappointing Trans-Tasman tri-series for both teams.

The first ball of the ODI series is set to be bowled at Seddon Park around 2pm.

Today could mark the highly anticipated return of England bad-boy Ben Stokes.

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Stokes hasn't played for England since last year after he was charged with assaulting a man in September last year.

England missed Stokes in their Ashes series defeat, but wasn't needed they smashed Australia 4-1 in the ODI series.

How to watch?

The match will be live blogged here at the Herald, with ball-by-ball commentary from Radio Sport. It can also be watched on Sky Sport 1 from 1.30pm.

Weather conditions:

Hamilton's high for today is set to reach 25 degrees. Long fine breaks can be expected, with a light northwesterly according to Metservice.

Trent Boult celebrates the dismissal of Fakhar Zaman. Photo / Getty Images
Trent Boult celebrates the dismissal of Fakhar Zaman. Photo / Getty Images

Why New Zealand will win:

The home side almost always has the advantage, playing in New Zealand in front of a home crowd is sure to help motivate the Blackcaps.

They also come into the series on the back of eight straight ODI victories, so confidence should be high.

According to the ICC, paceman Trent Boult is ranked the third best ODI bowler in the world, with England's best bowler, Adil Rashid ranked 13th.

International performers Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls all make the return to the Blackcaps squad as well.

Tim Southee is congratulated by team mates after dismissing Azhar Ali. Photo / Getty Images
Tim Southee is congratulated by team mates after dismissing Azhar Ali. Photo / Getty Images

Why England will win:

England are shaping up well as they prepare for the ODI World Cup which will be held on their home turf next year.

They have recently come off a 4-1 series victory of Australia where they dominated the Aussies with the bat and ball.

The return of Ben Stokes will help the visitors immensely with the bat and ball in hand, given he's fit.

Of all batsmen in the two squads, test captain Joe Root is the highest ranked ODI batsman at fifth - Kane Williamson is next at ninth.

England can also boast a better ODI team ranking than New Zealand, the poms sit at third in the world with the Kiwis fourth.

Ben Stokes is expected to be back in action for England today. Photo / Getty Images
Ben Stokes is expected to be back in action for England today. Photo / Getty Images

Batting averages and strike rates of top seven batsmen:

Looking at the top seven batsmen from both ODI teams from since the 2015 World Cup, England hold a slightly better average than New Zealand.

England's stats are as follows: 37 & 104, 51 & 94, 39 & 98, 63 & 92, 43 & 95, 44 & 123, 47 & 105.

New Zealand's stats are as follows: 28 & 110, 53 & 96, 48 & 85, 59 & 84, 38 & 85, 37 & 87, 56 & 114.

If you average out the averages, of each sides top seven batsmen's averages, England are left with 46 runs and New Zealand 45 runs.

The bowlers better watch out today, with those of you in the crowd prepared for a few opportunities to snap up a catch in the Tui Catch-A-Million.

New Zealand ODI squad:

Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi.

England ODI Squad:

Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan (capt), Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Jonny Bairstow prepares to play a shot watched by Jason Roy. Photo / Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow prepares to play a shot watched by Jason Roy. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand v England ODI Schedule:

Today:

1st ODI at Seddon Park, Hamilton, 2pm

February 28:

2nd ODI at Bay Oval, Tauranga, 2pm

March 3:

3rd ODI at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 2pm

March 7:

4th ODI at University Oval, Dunedin, 11am

March 10:

5th ODI at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 11am

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