Nottingham: New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor says it is too early to pick favourites for the World Cup, with most of the 10 teams firmly n the race to reach the semi-finals.
Kane Williamson´s side have won all three of their matches to top the table ahead of their match against India in Nottingham on Thursday.
But Taylor said the round-robin format gives enough time for sides to get into their rhythm towards the business end of the tournament.
“I think it´s still early on. The majority, all nine (other) teams are still, or maybe realistically seven teams still in the hunt,” Taylor said.
“I think it´s not only the way the draw works out, you know, if you can get into a bit of a roll towards the end — first and foremost, you´ve got to get into the semi-final.”
New Zealand outplayed India, who are among the favourites alongside champions Australia and hosts England, in a pre-tournament warm-up game last month.
Taylor said that his team´s recent success against the Virat Kohli-led side, including their ability to deal with Indian spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, would give them confidence.
“We´ve faced India a lot in recent times and had some success against them,” said Taylor, who hit a match-winning 82 against Bangladesh.
“Obviously, two world-class spinners on their day. I think we´ve had success at different stages. We´ll have to wait and see what the wicket produces tomorrow,” he added.
Taylor said India would miss the injured Shikhar Dhawan and the chance to open with a left-right batting combination, with Rohit Sharma.
The Kiwis on the other hand have a right-left pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, which Taylor said was useful on English grounds with shorter boundaries on one side of the wicket.
“I haven´t been in the bowling meetings, but obviously Shikhar is a big loss to India. The presence, he plays very well at ICC (International Cricket Council) tournaments and has a very good record over here,” said Taylor.
“Himself and Rohit Sharma have a very good partnership, and I think they complement each other well because they´re right and left-handed.
“In terms of our line-up, I think we´ve had a similar balanced side for a long time, and when you do have a right-left hand combination, it does put pressure in different ways on the bowling opposition.”