Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is the man in form ahead of Saturday's curtain-raiser. (Getty)

If New Zealand are to end their World Cup hoodoo on their own turf this month then surely Kane Williamson is the man to help them do it.

Six semi-final appearances but none beyond that stage are the mark of an underachiever for the co-hosts. However, with the 24-year-old having quickly become the game-changer within the Black Caps' ranks in the build-up to this month's competition, his form will be integral to New Zealand's hopes of a first World Cup triumph.

Having hit at least 50 in 12 of his last 18 one day international innings, Williamson has developed a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in New Zealand's batting order.

By the end of 2014, that average rose to 70 and is continuing to rise in 2015. An outstanding 112 from 88 balls in his side's hammering of Pakistan in Napier last week has helped him to score more international runs than any other batsman this year, ahead of the likes of Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Steve Smith of Australia.

Having added another 66 in New Zealand's victory over South Africa on Wednesday 11 February, the number three batsman has enjoyed near-perfect preparation ahead of Saturday's curtain raiser against Sri Lanka.

In that win, Brendon McCullum's side reinforced their status as one of the top three favourites for the tournament in a match where Williamson once again top scored for his side, on the same ground where they will begin their campaign on Saturday 14 February.

While Williamson's biggest impact will come with the bat, a recent ICC ruling will allow him to do likewise with the ball. Cricket's governing body to sanction his spin bowl (along with those of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and Sachithra Senanayake of Sri Lanka) after passing a mediation process over his remodelled technique will hand Williamson another change to inflict some damage for the Kiwis.