McCullum ready for England

  • Last Updated: March 21 2014, 14:40 GMT

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will not be underestimating England when the sides open their World Twenty20 campaigns in Chittagong on Saturday.

Brendon McCullum prepares ahead of the England game
Brendon McCullum prepares ahead of the England game

England are unfancied outsiders to regain the title they won in 2010, with a string of poor results behind them and a squad that appears well short of its best form.

McCullum does not deny that the Black Caps' Group One rivals are enduring a tough spell, but is wary of how quickly that can change in the manic world of T20 cricket.

"The tour of Australia was tough for England this winter, and the West Indies too, but in this form of the game things can turn so quickly," he said.

"You only need one of two players to grab the initiative for your team and get you in a winning position and all of a sudden you have confidence as a team.

"I'm sure that's what they will be talking about and it's a note of caution for us too. While they are probably short of form at the moment they can turn it around quickly too.

"We must make sure we are as good as we can be and not let chance come into it."

Since New Zealand last played England, they have unearthed a couple of match-winning newcomers and McCullum sounded a note of cautious optimism about what Jimmy Neesham and Corey Anderson can do on Saturday - and in the tournament as a whole.

Anderson scored the quickest ODI hundred in history, in just 36 balls, against West Indies on New Year's Day, while Neesham has proved a talented player across the formats since his introduction.

"Corey is an incredible talent," said McCullum.

"That century against West Indies was sublime hitting from ball one. He's one of those guys that when he gets himself in he can win a game pretty quickly.

"Jimmy is another one who has come in and done great things for us. They haven't played a great deal of cricket on the world stage or against teams like England but so that challenge is there for them.

"Hopefully we can sit back in a couple of weeks and say those guys stood up and grabbed their opportunity."


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