Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming Friday tipped joint hosts Australia and New Zealand to reach the final of the forthcoming 2015 World Cup, also identifying South Africa and the West Indies as the dark horses of the tournament.
Captain Brendon McCullum blasted his fifth one-day international century as New Zealand scored 248 all out against Sri Lanka in the second game of their seven match series on a good batting pitch at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Thursday.
Kane Williamson`s absence for possibly the next three matches against Sri Lanka could be a blessing in disguise for New Zealand, with the batting order given the opportunity to fine tune plans for the World Cup.
Kane Williamson missed a second successive hundred while Ross Taylor made an unbeaten 88 to steer New Zealand to 275-4 in the fifth and final day-night international against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Last season's highest auctioned players Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik were released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils respectively. Yuvraj was bought by RCB for a whooping sum of Rs 14 crore, while Karthik costed the Daredevils Rs 12.5 crore.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad hit a swashbuckling hundred and Shahid Afridi made a fiery 55 and took three wickets to lead Pakistan to a crushing 147-run win over New Zealand in the third one-dayer in Sharjah on Sunday.
Brendon McCullum became one of only four batsmen to score three double hundreds in a year as he guided New Zealand into a strong position in the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah Saturday.
New Zealand cricket team coach Mike Hesson has warned that his side is improving and have proved they can take on top nations away from home and claimed that the tense draw in the second Test against Pakistan that finished Friday in Dubai had proved the point.