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Sunday, 10 May 2015

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Black Caps gear for England challenge

After electrifying during the World Cup, New Zealand are ready to serve it up against Alastair Cook’s men New Zealand excited and captivated a nation with their performances through the 2014-15 summer and the World Cup.

Now, the Black Caps have landed in England, determined to turn around a disappointing 2013 tour which saw them record two heavy losses.It was a low-key New Zealand Test squad which arrived in London earlier this week, with star players Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson still on Indian Premier League duties and due to arrive in England by May 19. The Black Caps remain insistent on their underdog status – as shown by Ross Taylor earlier this week, when the batsman insisted England in their home conditions “would be very tough”.” We haven’t had a lot of success here recently,” Taylor said.Quick Single: Black Caps out to target CookHowever their 2-0 Test series win against Pakistan in the UAE and 2-0 series win at home over Sri Lanka, combined with a World Cup final appearance, suggest a well-prepared and in-form Black Caps team has arrived on England soil.

Their first hit-out will be against county team Somerset starting today, while they will also meet Worcester in a warm-up ahead of the first Test against England at Lord’s on May 21.Here’s a look at what the Black Caps have been up to since the end of the 2014-15 season and World Cup:Brendon McCullum: Despite being a bit hit and miss this IPL season, the Black Caps skipper has scored more sixes than anyone else to date, is the only player to have scored a century and also has one half-century under his belt.

His 315 IPL runs have come at an average of 35 and McCullum will be eager to continue his Test form of 2014, which included scores of 302, 224, 202 and 195.

-Laura Jolly

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