NZ top order poses big threat: McMillan

Kiwis batting coach says his charges are ready and raring for any challenge thrown their way at the World T20

Black Caps batting coach Craig McMillan has no doubt the spin-friendly World Twenty20 pitches in India won't hold back New Zealand's power hitters as they set themselves for a showdown with Australia on March 18.

And he's found plenty of agreement from dynamic batsman Colin Munro, fresh from his 14-ball 50 against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

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The Black Caps play warm-up games in Mumbai against Sri Lanka on Friday and England on Sunday before their World T20 opener against India on Monday in Nagpur, followed three days later by the trans-Tasman clash.

McMillan says the Black Caps have been adjusting well in the transition from last month's two-Test series against Australia, with previous experience on tour or in the Indian Premier League a big help.

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"India certainly offers different challenges to what we face in New Zealand but I think you have to say a lot of guys have played over here, so the adjustment's not that big," McMillan said.

"They've adjusted very well, and they've shown the power and how dangerous our batting line-up can be on their day."

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Even without retired skipper Brendon McCullum, the Black Caps top order showed what they were capable of in the game's shortest format during home series against Sri Lanka (2-0 win) and Pakistan (2-1 win) in January.

Batting first on two occasions, the Black Caps posted scores of 4-182 and 5-196, and successfully chased down totals of 142 and 168 for the combined loss of just one wicket, with their lone defeat coming when they collapsed to be all out for 155 chasing 172 to win against Pakistan.

Through those five matches, the Kiwis top order was in devastating touch.

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Kane Williamson made 260 runs at a strike-rate of 126.83, Martin Guptill scored 252 at 181.29, while Munro finished with 146 runs in four innings at the remarkable strike-rate of 208.57.

His 14-ball half-century bettered the Kiwi record for the fastest-ever T20 fifty, breaking the mark of 19 balls set by Guptill earlier in the same innings.

McMillan says the Black Caps will need to be at their best in a pool which includes Pakistan alongside powerhouses Australia and India, as well as Bangladesh if they progress through qualifying as expected.

"If you look at the sides in our pool, we've got India, Pakistan and maybe Bangladesh, who rely heavily on their spin.

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"It's going to be a major factor and it's certainly something we're putting a lot of time into in our training."

Munro said that batsmen were starting to get used to the surface.

"It's a little bit slower than back home, but it's not a bad surface to bat on.

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"I'm pretty confident - I think in Twenty20 you have to be confident and go out there and play with no fear," he said.

McMillan is hopeful that the Black Caps will build confidence over their two warm-up games, so that they'll be ready for any possible scenario when the World Twenty20 begins.

"We've got a really well-balanced squad - three different spin options, medium pacers, allrounders and we've got our seamers as well.

"We've got all bases covered."