LONDON, May 31 (AFP): New Zealand are happy to go under the radar as they prepare to launch their campaign for World Cup glory against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Saturday.
The Black Caps reached the final four years ago for the first time after six semi-final defeats, only to be soundly beaten by Australia in Melbourne.
Kane Williamson has replaced the swashbuckling Brendon McCullum as captain but the core of the team that came so close in 2015 remains.
Since the last World Cup, New Zealand have risen as high as second in the world rankings but have also been beaten at home by South Africa, England and India.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith and David Warner will seek redemption on the biggest stage as they re-launch their one-day international careers for Australia against Afghanistan at the World Cup on Saturday.
The star batsmen were both banned for a year for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal but they have found form on their return to the international set-up.
Warner was the top runscorer in the recent Indian Premier League while Smith struck a hundred in a warm-up victory against England last weekend.
The defending champions have endured a tumultuous past year but the Aaron Finch-led side are peaking at the right time and are considered one of the favourites in the 50-over showpiece event.
After edging out hosts India 3-2 in a five-match ODI series in March, Australia welcomed back Smith and Warner with open arms.
Former Australian paceman Brett Lee expects the pair to make big contributions but has warned they might need thick skin playing in front of the English crowds.
"I don't think they have got a point to prove, they will just be happy to be back playing for Australia," said Lee, who won the tournament with Australia in 2003.
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