Where teams stand before the 2019 World Cup: England and New Zealand
With only five months left for the 2019 World Cup, all participating teams have started identifying their respective potential squads for the tournament and are working to fill in any gaps they might have.
While some teams are working to identify their opening combination, other sides are honing in on their key bowlers. As all sides have limited game time to finalise their squads, let us now examine how each team stands and what areas they need to sharpen their focus for next year's World Cup.
Being the number one ranked ODI team and playing on home soil, England are favourites to win the World Cup. This is a stark reversal of opinion from how they used to play ODI cricket in the past and their poor performances at previous editions of the World Cup.
Committed to an aggressive style, Eoin Morgan's men aim to bat the opposition out through sheer power. With Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow opening the innings, the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Moeen Ali can bat freely towards the end.
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, at number three and four respectively, ensure that they either continue off from where the openers left or set a platform for the lower-middle order hitters.
Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, and Liam Plunkett are the key bowlers in the side. With the likes of Moeen Ali, David Willey, Ben Stokes and Joe Root also in the mix, England carry up to seven possible bowling options at any given point in time.
The only thing missing at England's arsenal is a genuine pace bowler. Although Mark Wood is currently in the reckoning for that position, Same Curran's all-round ability can place him ahead of the right-arm pacer.
Currently ranked third in ODIs, New Zealand need to fill in a few gaps in order to become contenders for the World Cup.
With Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, and Ross Taylor forming a reliable core group in their batting department, New Zealand need to identify their second opener and fortify their lineup.
Current possibilities for the second opener are Colin Munro and George Worker. Neither have sufficiently impressed thus far. Colin de Grandhomme can bat aggressively but doubts persist over his bowling skills. Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are pushing for the all-rounder's place in the eleven.
Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson are contenders for the role of third seamer. The latter bowled brilliantly in the recent ODI series against Pakistan. The former may be considered for the starting eleven at the World Cup, with his experience playing for Kent this year.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee will form the core of the New Zealand's seam bowling unit. Once Santner returns from his injury layoff, the spin slot will be filled as well. However, Southee, in particular, will need to find a way of taking more wickets as his bowling average reflects poor returns since 2015.
New Zealand would also prefer that batsmen other than Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor step up to the plate. Their over-reliance on the two stalwarts came into prominence during the series against England earlier this year.