Confidence breeds freedom

I'm not a coach who throws around praise loosely, but there's no denying I've been delighted with the way we played in the one-day series.

The victory at Lord's was a very clinical performance in all three aspects of the game, while Southampton was as good a performance as it gets.

When a one-day side gains confidence, it allows players within it to play with freedom.  This doesn't mean reckless abandon, but you do have a positive mindset which allows yourself the ability to execute your skills with confidence.

You only need to look at Martin Guptill's record-breaking innings to see the freedom and skill that he's been able to play with. Add a level of confidence to the skill that these guys have and players like Martin are able to show they have the ability to be world-class.

While all the talk has been about our batting, what has impressed me equally has been our fielding. Our analysis shows that we have saved at least 30 runs during the series. The pressure put on our opposition in the field led by Martin, Kane Williamson, Brendon and Nathan McCullum inside the ring and Ross Taylor and James Franklin in sweeping roles  has lead England to take riskier options which create opportunities elsewhere.

Now we head to the ICC Champions Trophy,  a huge opportunity for us. While it's a tournament that New Zealand has a proud record in and our odds have certainly shortened in the past week after our series victory, none of that is relevant. This is a pretty humble bunch of guys who know in all reality that any team can win this tournament.

First up we meet Sri Lanka, who I consider one of the tournament favourites based on the fact they've made the last four short form World Cup finals and have a very balanced looking side.

Then it's our old trans-Tasman rivals Australia,  a very dangerous team with aggressive quick bowlers and a damaging top order.

And it doesn't get any harder than the home side in the final pool match. It's certainly a tough pool, but we know that if we put in performances like Lord's and Southampton, we'll challenge any side in the world.

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
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