I feel that NZ will make it to the finals but winning the final could be a little tough (whether it’s against India or Australia) as it’s gonna take place at the MCG (outside New Zealand). But, as someone who has been following New Zealand cricket very closely for last one year or so, I can tell you that they are the team to beat. For, theirs is the most balanced side in this World Cup thanks to the luxury of having someone like Daniel Vettori bat at number 8 (he has six Test Centuries to his credit and knows how to get quickfire runs or finish off close chases). His left arm spin can pose a serious treat to anyone for he is really good at changing his pace and has a lethal arm ball with which he has outfox many a batsman.
At the top they have Brendon McCullum who can tear any attack apart on his day and now that Martin Guptil is back in form the opening combination looks quite formidable. Kane Williamson at number 3 has been scoring truckloads of runs for the last couple of years (against India in 2013 he was unstoppable… a series that India lost 4-0). Ross Taylor has been a bit out of touch off late but he is a big match player and can change gears pretty quickly to the opposition’s dismay. Grant Elliott is hitting the ball really well and has to game to play in the middle overs as well as at the death.
Corey Anderson is the big hitter who can easily clear boundaries during powerplay and at the death. His left arm fast medium pace bowling is a great asset to this Kiwi lineup. Luke Ronchi, their wicket keeper, is quite aggressive in his batting approach and only recently scored an unbeaten 170 against SL, batting at number 7 which is a world record. Their bowling is spearheaded by Trent Boult (well mentored by Shane Bond) who can be a menace with the ball, bowling at 145 clicks regularly and the left arm pacer is equally deadly with both new and old balls.
Tim Southee is a very good swing bowler and provides perfect foil for Boult (though he doesn’t have the pace of Boult, with the new ball he can ball at above 140 without much difficulty). Though, he can go for runs sometimes early on, he has a knack for picking wickets in his second and third spells. Not to mention, he can hit the ball long, if needed at number 9. Then there is the young Adam Milne who, IMHO, is the most threatening first change bowler in the world. Bowling at 150 clicks is no big deal for him. He is also quite accurate and can hit the deck hard and is well capable of beating the batsman with his pace and bounce. He, in many says, is Trent Boult’s right arm equivalent.
All this makes New Zealand the team to beat, whether playing in small grounds or big grounds.