ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Brendon McCullum confident of New Zealand's improvement

Brendon McCullum said the team is capable of putting forward their best performance against England © Getty Images

Wellington: Jun 13, 2013 

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has admitted that his team has gone ”slightly off the boil” and has rated his team ”a bit off” in the field, despite having one foot in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 semi-finals.

New Zealand took one competition point from their washout against Australia at Edgbaston and, if England beat Sri Lanka on Thursday, they can potentially make the playoffs even if they lose against the hosts in Cardiff on Sunday, stuff.co.nz reports.

However, the report added, if New Zealand qualify despite another scratchy performance against England, there will be serious questions about whether they can shake their reputation as semi-final specialists and nothing more. 

Stating that they have played some good one-day cricket recently, McCullum admitted that there are some times when they have been a ”little bit off the boil”, although he added that he is confident that his team can tidy up those loose areas with improvements in the fielding and batting departments.

According to McCullum, the team is capable of putting forward their best performance again with the hosts England like they did in the prior two one-day matches before the tournament, adding that they will be tough to beat if they tighten their hold. 

Stating that he would have preferred a full contest in a rare occasion where New Zealand was favoured to beat Australia, McCullum said that although they prepared and planned well, they could not execute as well as they should have.

However, McCullum said that he was satisfied with his team”s performance, adding that with batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor starting to form a partnership at the crease, he is hopeful that they will give themselves a chance later on.