LONDON (Reuters) - New Zealand expect a new-look England squad to match their aggressive style of cricket in the five-game one-day series, captain Brendon McCullum said on Monday.
Following a dismal World Cup campaign, England are resting key players, including fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for the series against the Kiwis which starts in Birmingham on Tuesday.
Young seamer Mark Wood, destructive top-order batsman Alex Hales and wicketkeeper Sam Billings will hope to get the chance to impress.
“I like the look of the squad, I think it’s an exciting squad they’ve picked,” McCullum told Sky Sports.
”It’s obviously a little bit raw but it’s full of talented players who are pretty aggressive with bat and ball.
“England have got some really dangerous players and judging by the comments coming out of their camp they’re looking forward to branching out a little bit,” McCullum said.
The two sides fought out a gripping 1-1 draw in the test series, with England winning the first match at Lord’s before the Kiwis struck back to seal a comprehensive victory at Headingley last week.
“The test matches were played in great spirit and I‘m sure this will be the same,” McCullum said.
“Both teams will relish the opportunity to pit their skills against the other.”
New Zealand reached this year’s World Cup final playing a supremely positive and energetic brand of cricket.
“The way we went about it throughout the World Cup gives us a good chance and, hopefully, on the back of a pretty good test series we’ll play a similar style and can continue to build on that,” McCullum said.
England fast bowler Steven Finn said the hosts would be looking to match the New Zealanders’ positive and innovative tactics.
“They are obviously very strong. To get to the final of the World Cup is no mean feat,” Finn told the England and Wales Cricket Board website (www.ecb.co.uk).
“They’re an exceptional one-day side but we’re looking to go toe-to-toe with them and we’re looking to fight fire with fire.”
Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Ken Ferris