Champions Trophy: New Zealand confident ahead of Sri Lanka opener

Last Updated: 08/06/13 3:54pm

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Brendon McCullum: Led New Zealand to series victory over England

Brendon McCullum: Led New Zealand to series victory over England

Sky Bet

Brendon McCullum is "quietly confident" New Zealand can be a force in the Champions Trophy - starting on Sunday.

The Kiwis open their Group A campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on the back of a 2-1 limited-overs series victory over England.

And captain McCullum reckons his side will benefit from their competitive preparation rather than a series of warm-up games.

"We are quietly confident," he said. "We feel we are a good one-day unit with experienced players and a good understanding of the type of game that suits us.

"We have some match-winners in our side and we hope being battle-hardened in English conditions in the ODIs over the past week can give us some assistance.

"Our opponents have played some warm-up games so I expect we will see how the comparison between being battle-hardened and playing warm-up games pans out."

Daniel Vettori (Achilles) and Grant Elliott (calf) will undergo morning fitness tests before New Zealand finalise their line-up to face opponents who were beaten finalists in the last two World Cups and in last year's World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said: "People say we have done well in recent tournaments, but that is in the past.

"I still think I have the team to go a long way, but we are not looking too far ahead. It will be at the back of our minds but we just want to try and win from the first game."

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