England batting coach Graham Thorpe is hopeful Saturday's third and final ODI against New Zealand will mark a triumphant end to his first coaching assignment at international level.
Thorpe succeeded former captain Graham Gooch, whose sole focus has been left to the Test team, as the country's limited-overs batting coach prior to the trip to New Zealand.
The tour started successfully, thanks to a two-one win in the Twenty20 International series. Defeat by three wickets in the first ODI and victory by eight wickets in the second, however, has ensured the visitors must win the weekend's decider in Auckland to avoid being upstaged by a Black Caps unit considerably inferior in the ICC rankings.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed it, working with Ashley and bowling coach David Saker and all the other coaches and the group of players. It's quite an exciting time, and I hope we can finish it off and make it a good three weeks," said Thorpe.
Half-centuries from captain Alastair Cook, the in-form Joe Root and the right-handed Jonathan Trott were key to Wednesday's win at McLean Park, where England achieved a testing 270-run target to square the three-match affair.
"It was good to get back into the series, and to see the way they held their composure, chasing that down. New Zealand would probably like to have got a few more on that pitch, and in the end we made it home pretty comfortably," added Thorpe.
Host captain Brendon McCullum, meanwhile, has implored his troops to deploy urgency through the opening throes of the innings. Talented opener Hamish Rutherford, who debuted in Napier, has been pinpointed as particularly instrumental to the Kiwis' cause.
"Hamish is an aggressive top-order batsman, and he's definitely been give the licence to play that way. If we can just be a little bit more urgent inside those first 10 overs, we should be able to give ourselves a better start," insisted McCullum.
"This is a 'clutch' game. These are the sorts of occasions you hope you turn up and play your best game and seize those moments. So, Saturday is a really important day for us."