New Zealand arrive at the World Cup after a poor run of form
Perennially portrayed as dark horses, New Zealand have always been stronger in the shorter forms of the game than at Test level.
That being said, they arrive at the World Cup on the back of a wretched run of form and appear to be more vulnerable to an upset that the other major Test-playing nations.
But success is relative. Taking into account the four million population of New Zealand - less than that of Yorkshire - it becomes clear that the Kiwis have a habit of punching above their weight.
WORLD CUP RECORD
Of the seven nations to have played in every World Cup, New Zealand are one of only two not to have lifted the trophy (the other being England, although New Zealand won the Champions Trophy in its previous incarnation as the ICC Knock-Out in 2000), and the Kiwis are the only one of the seven never to have reached the final. The Black Caps have made the semi-finals on four occasions, most notably when they were co-hosts in 1992. Skipper Martin Crowe, who hit 456 runs on the way to being named man of the tournament, innovatively opened the bowling with off-spinner Dipak Patel and employed Mark Greatbatch at the top of the order as international cricket's first pinch hitter.
The world's premier left-arm spinner, Daniel Vettori has at times carried the New Zealand team on his back. The 32-year-old has given up the Test captaincy and will hand over the one-day reins at the end of the World Cup but remains hugely influential and respected - he even holds a role on the selection panel. The Black Caps rarely succeed without Vettori playing well.
All-rounder Scott Styris may not have the star qualities of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor or Jesse Ryder, but he has been New Zealand's most consistent one-day performer over the last decade. Only Matthew Hayden, Mahela Jayawardene and Ricky Ponting scored more runs than Styris at the 2007 World Cup, while his medium pace will be more than useful in the subcontinent. His importance to the Kiwis was underlined when he missed the tour to Bangladesh with a back injury - they lost the series 4-0.
Even though New Zealand managed to halt an 11-game losing run with a recent victory over Pakistan, they still went on to lose the series 3-2. The Kiwis travel to the subcontinent with their slimmest hopes of lifting the World Cup since 1987. They should reach the quarter-finals, but are unlikely to get any further.
New Zealand squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Ross Taylor (vice-captain), Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Jamie How, Luke Woodcock, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey*.
* Tuffey was called up as a replacement for Hamish Bennett