London, June 16: New Zealand coach Mike Hesson believes his side are now facing a far more "scary" England team compared to the one the Black Caps thrashed at the World Cup. In February, New Zealand hammered England by eight wickets in Wellington en route to a World Cup final which they lost to co-hosts Australia. [NZ beat England in yet another high-scorer, take 2-1 lead in 5-match series]
The Black Caps skittled out England for just 123 on that occasion, with Tim Southee taking a New Zealand one-day international record seven for 33. New Zealand then chased down their meagre target in a mere 12.2 overs, with skipper Brendon McCullum blasting 77 in 25 balls. But Hesson's men haven't had things all their own way during their ongoing five-match one-day international series in England.
The first ODI at Edgbaston saw England make 408 for nine in a 210-run win -- both national records. New Zealand levelled the series with a 13-run Duckworth/Lewis success at The Oval but only after England, initially chasing 399 for victory, had been 345 for seven and needing 54 more runs from 37 balls when rain stopped play.
The Black Caps, however, went 2-1 up at Southampton on Sunday after restricting England to 302 all out. But they still needed a New Zealand record third-wicket stand of 206 between Kane Williamson (118) and Ross Taylor (110) to take them close to completing a three-wicket win which was only sealed with an over to spare.
England's team at the Rose Bowl contained just four survivors from their Wellington humiliation in skipper Eoin Morgan, batsman Joe Root, wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and fast bowler Steven Finn.
Improving England's standing in 50-over cricket is a key aim for new director of cricket Andrew Strauss and now the likes of opener Alex Hales, all-rounder Ben Stokes, leg-spinner Adil Rashid and left-arm paceman David Willey are being given a chance to show what they can do at international level