ODI series preview: New Zealand v England

Astonishing as it is to think, England and New Zealand have not faced each other in an ODI since 2009, not crossing paths in subsequent ICC events, so this series has very little to do with past head-to-head form.

Astonishing as it is to think, England and New Zealand have not faced each other in an ODI since 2009, not crossing paths in subsequent ICC events, so this series has very little to do with past head-to-head form.

The Black Caps have a good record against England, and won their last ODI series, against South Africa, when it was assumed they'd be demolished. The recent T20 series was also closer than anticipated, ending 2-1 to England, so an interesting set-up is on the cards.

England, meanwhile, haven't played an ODI since December, and a number of their players are coming off a long break, while most of the Kiwis have been playing solidly for the past two months, both home and away.

England will be led by Alastair Cook, after Stuart Broad took the reins in the T20s. and senior men like Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and James Anderson return to give some heft to the line up, while young players like Jos Buttler will look to impress.

The Black Caps sport a side similar to the T20 outfit, and they will be looking to seniors like Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor to get the runs up front, while new fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan will be keen to continue his aggressive approach.

<b>Key Men</b><br>England captain <b>Alastair Cook</b> was in superb form at the end of last year, so it will be hoped that his extended rest will not have dulled the edge. His consistency and calm air at the top of the order will be key in building a knock.

The Kiwis will also be looking to their skipper <b>Brendon McCullum</b>, after he did well in the second T20 and showed why he is one of the most feared short-format batsmen. He hasn't been as consistent since taking over the captaincy, but now is the time to release the pressure.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2009: new Zealand won by four wickets in Johannesburg<br>2008: New Zealand won by 51 runs at Lord's<br>2008: New Zealand won by one wicket at The Oval<br>2008: New Zealand won by 22 runs in Bristol<br>2008: No result in Birmingham

<b>Prediction</b><br>Online betting firm <a href='http://www.skybet.com/betting/cricket/c30.html' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>Sky Bet</b></a> have New Zealand at 13/8 and England at 1/2 in the odds to win the series. Visit Sky Bet for the latest <a href='http://www.skybet.com/betting/cricket/c30.html' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>cricket betting</b></a>.

More <a href='https://twitter.com/bet365' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>cricket bets</b></a> here.

<b>Squads</b><br><i>New Zealand:</i> Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Grant Elliot, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

<i>England:</i> Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler, Stuart Broad, Steve Finn, James Harris, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First ODI: 17 February in Hamilton<br>Second ODI: 20 February in Napier<br>Third ODI: 23 February in Auckland