Wellington: New Zealand`s preparations for the cricket World Cup are the best they had been in Daniel Vettori`s four previous campaigns and they can enter the tournament they co-host with Australia with confidence, the former captain has said.
Vettori, who turns 36 on Jan. 27, has been included in New Zealand`s squad for the tournament in what will likely be his international swan song after an 18-year career.
"My previous four World Cups there has been some trepidation moving it into it but this one feels like a good solid squad that is ready for it," Vettori told reporters in Christchurch on Saturday, a day ahead of their first one-day international against Sri Lanka.
"Rather than stumbling into the World Cup like we may have done in the past, we can go into it with all our bases covered and everybody firing."
That confidence had been lifted over the last two years under captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson, Vettori added, with the recent 2-0 test series victory over Sri Lanka also permeating into the one-day squad.
"You can`t underestimate how well the guys played in the test match and how much that confidence has rubbed off on guys like myself and the guys who weren`t involved.
"We feed off that confidence (and) there is a real vibe in the group."
Vettori said their confidence would only be embellished further with a strong performance in their seven-match series with Sri Lanka that starts at Hagley Oval and is followed by two more one-dayers against Pakistan, before the tournament begins.
"The focus is around the build up (to the World Cup), but these are still international games," he said in reference to the nine games they play before the Feb. 14 opener.
"The standard has been set by the team and we don`t want to regress.
"I think the World Cup is there and it`s a big talking point for everyone but we`re concentrating on the game tomorrow and that`s how the guys are looking at it."