Tim Southee offered an intriguing insight ahead of the fourth England-New Zealand one-day international in Dunedin when he spoke to media on Monday.

"It's not a soul-searching moment - guys just need to go back and be a bit more clear in their roles and what's needed at the time," he said.

On the one hand, Southee is right. Clinical thinking needs to sop up any flood of pressure as the New Zealanders sit 2-1 down, and on the precipice of defeat in the five-match series.

They have not lost any of their eight tests and six ODIs since the University Oval came into international operation 10 years ago.


The flipside is this match has the potential to define a summer which has flattered to deceive after the steamrolling the West Indies irrespective of format, and dispatching Pakistan 5-0 in the ODIs before the visitors found some Twenty20 zing.

The ballistic way England play the 50-over game has become the international benchmark. They must rank as World Cup contenders at home next year.

Passion will also be required to deliver a win against such powerful opposition.

The Black Caps need not look far to see how "passionate" and "clinical" can merge.

Take captain Kane Williamson's century in the third match. He gambled with the English line and length, and almost got his side home in precarious circumstances after the middle order of Mark Chapman, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme contributed a sum of 11 runs from 26 balls.

Similarly, Ross Taylor (113 from 116 balls) and Latham (79 from 84 balls) combined for a record fourth-wicket partnership of 178 from 182 balls between the countries to help New Zealand chase 285 in Hamilton. Nicholls (0) and de Grandhomme (2) also struggled on that occasion, but Mitchell Santner closed out the game with 45 from 27 balls.

Chapman or Nicholls will presumably rest with Taylor's return from injury.

He suffered a thigh problem in the second ODI, which ruled him out of the following game.

"I should be fine," he said after an indoor training session at the Edgar Centre.

"I've had massages on it, acupuncture, stretching and swimming. I got hit during the game in Hamilton, then hit on the same spot in training twice.

"The leg was saying it had had enough then [David] Willey got me [at Mt Maunganui] and when I ran a two a couple of balls later I probably turned like the Titanic and got run out."

Taylor said they had to take a more measured approach at University Oval in a potential series decider.

"It's no use going out there helter-skelter, then falling for spit and playing catch up the whole time. All the players know their roles, hopefully I can take it deep and then the power players do their job at the end."

He reflected on how eye surgery in late 2016 had brought a renaissance. Before that, he had 5826 ODI runs at an average of 43.15 and strike rate of 82. He has scored 1260 ODI runs since, at an average of 57.27 and strike rate of 83.

"It's been a gradual thing, but it's nice to see ball swing and not to fear it during day-night games. It's not a great place to be when playing cricket if you don't want the ball to come to you in the field.

"In hindsight it would've been great to have the operation two to three years earlier. It has made a difference, but being older and wiser played a part as well."

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