Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum will be key to New Zealand's fortunes in the 2015 Cricket World CupReuters

Coach: Mike Hesson

ICC world ranking: 6

Squad: Brendon McCullum (C), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi (WK), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson.

Fixtures: Sri Lanka (14 February), Scotland (17 February), England (20 February), Australia (2 March), Afghanistan (8 March), Bangladesh (13 March).

Overview: New Zealalnd bring an air of unpredictability into the tournament, on their day they can beat any team, but can also be beaten by any team. This makes them a difficult team to predict. The Kiwis are experienced campaigners as they have featured in every World Cup since 1975 and have made it to the semi-finals on six occasions.

Mike Hesson will be hoping that his team can take advantage of the home conditions and take the extra step and make it to the finals for the very first time. The team has a fairly good balance of experience and youth, with the likes of Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori providing guidance to talented youngsters like Trent Boult, Corey Anderson and Tom Latham.

Key player

Brendon McCullum: The New Zealand captain will be a key player as they chase their first World Cup title. Playing at home will be an added incentive for the team to do well. McCullum, who is their opening batsmen will be important in ensuring his team get good starts. He is also an explosive batsman and has the ability to change the course of the game at any given time.

World Cup history: New Zealand have taken part in every World Cup since the start of the tournament, but are yet to win it. They have managed to reach the last four stage six times, but have failed to progress to the final on any of those occasions. Playing in front of the home crowd could spur them on and make them take that extra step.

Prediction: New Zealand will never be considered the outright favourites, due to their inability to perform well in big tournaments. They will however, be tipped to make it to the semi-final owing to the fact that they will be playing most of their matches in familiar conditions.