Cricket World Cup 2019: Current format suits New Zealand, feels Ian Smith
Will the round-robin format of the World Cup suit the Black Caps? © AFP

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper turned commentator Ian Smith is of the opinion that the current format for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, in which each team plays the other for a spot in the semi-finals, works to New Zealand’s advantage.

In a departure from the approach taken from the 1996 to 2015 World Cups, the ICC adopted a similar format as in the 1992 World Cup for this year’s edition in England. All teams play each other in a full round robin format with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals and the winners contesting the World Cup final.

This, thinks Smith, suits the Black Caps well.

(READ: To-be batting coach Peter Fulton backs New Zealand firepower in England)

“Everybody has to play everybody. There’s no weak groups or strong groups or ‘pools of death’ or anything like that,” he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.  “And from New Zealand’s point of view I think that suits us and I also believe that in our situation in particular, we’ve got a very, very important first 10 days of the tournament.

“We’re playing against Sri Lanka, we’re playing against Afghanistan and we’re playing against Bangladesh. Now they’re three teams that we either should beat, or have beaten recently quite comfortably, and so for that reason I think they become very integral to what we’re doing.”

(READ: Martin Guptill relishing batting on England pitches)

Under Brendon McCullum, New Zealand reached their first World Cup final in 2015 and were beaten by Australia at the MCG.

Led by Kane Williamson, the current New Zealand team is ranked fourth in ODIs and this year have whitewashed Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in ODIs, apart from losing 1-4 to India.

New Zealand begin their World Cup campaign on June 1 against Sri Lanka. Before that, they play tour matches against India on May 25 and West Indies on May 28.

New Zealand World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE.