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Pressure on Black Caps in Cardiff

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/06/2017
The 39-year-old replaced John Wright in July 2012. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images The 39-year-old replaced John Wright in July 2012.

Coach Mike Hesson admits the Black Caps will be taking something of a step into the unknown when they meet England in a must-win Champions Trophy in Cardiff.

With only a point from their washed-out opening match against Australia at Edgbaston, the pressure is on the New Zealanders to grab a win on an enigmatic Sophia Gardens wicket.

And while Hesson is satisfied with an encouraging performance in Birmingham, he says the Kiwis will have to be better on a Cardiff pitch which is consistently inconsistent.

"The unknown is we know quite a bit about it, and that it is an unknown," he said on Monday (NZT).

"It's a real mixture of surfaces - even if you watched 10 games there, they're all very different in terms of what they present.

"We'll go out there, have a look at it and try to guess what's happening."

England were rampant in their opening eight-wicket win over Bangladesh at The Oval, but although they've since lost paceman Chris Woakes to a side strain, Hesson says there's plenty of depth to cover.

"They're lucky enough to have a guy like David Willey, it's pretty much a like-for-like replacement.

"They've got plenty of depth in their squad."

That depth is also apparent with the bat, although opener Jason Roy is struggling, dismissed for a fourth successive ODI single-digit score against Bangladesh.

Hesson says that means his bowlers will need to improve on a solid opening effort in the nine overs possible against Australia.

Trent Boult removed classy Australian opener David Warner for 18 then fellow-paceman Adam Milne accounted for Aaron Finch (eight) and Moises Henriques (18).

Milne bowled aggressively, showing good pace and accuracy, and an encouraging willingness to send down the odd bouncer.

It's an approach Hesson says will need to be replicated against England, whose batsmen showed a glimpse of what they were capable of in reaching 308-2 against Bangladesh.

"Their batting line up is aggressive, and if you don't take wickets then you can chase a very high score," Hesson said.

"And from a bowling point of view, they've got a lot of variety. We know we're going to have to play well, probably as well as we did yesterday if not a little bit better."

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