February 17, 2015
Start time 11.00am local (2200 GMT, previous day)
With an undulating landscape, pockets of striking gothic architecture, and biting polar gusts, Dunedin is sometimes known as the "Edinburgh of the south". No better place then for Scotland to begin their World Cup campaign. Surging after two strong outings in the warm-up games, captain Preston Mommsen said his team was "realistic" about the strengths of the opposition they are facing, but they remain optimistic about springing the tournament's first surprise.
It had been Scotland's bowling that sealed the 179-run warm up victory against Ireland
, with seamer Alasdair Evans and offspinner Majid Haq sharing seven scalps between them, but it is the top order around which this team rallies. Former captain Kyle Coetzer has moved into fine form with 96 in a tall chase against West Indies, while opening partner Calum Mcleod hit a smart hundred against a Sydney grade team, as part of Scotland's build-up. The highly-rated Matt Machan, who had an encouraging season for Sussex, was the other key player to strike form. His 103 from 108 balls had led Scotland to their 296 against Ireland.
New Zealand have made all the usual noises about guarding against complacency, and judging by the energy and focus in their pre-match training it is not difficult to believe them. There were no great chinks in their increasingly shiny armour, against Sri Lanka, and though it appears unlikely that Scotland can reveal a weakness, New Zealand continue to refine.
Ross Taylor was the only batsman to not have made a substantial contribution in the tournament opener, but an inexperienced Scotland attack may be to his liking. He has played outstanding innings in past major tournaments, so he perhaps knows how to peak at world events better than the other batsmen in his team.
New Zealand WWWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies WLLWL
In the spotlight
Initially among the more contentious New Zealand selections for the World Cup, Grant Elliott
has justified his place in the side in emphatic fashion. His bowling provides some balance to the XI, but his real strength is his measure and experience at the batting crease. There has been a recent trend of teams losing several top order batsmen cheaply, thanks to the two new balls, but in Elliott New Zealand have a batsman able to arrest slides and press the attack in equal measure. Even if Scotland can make early breakthroughs on Tuesday, New Zealand will be confident their middle-order anchor can lead them to a strong total.
The first Gaelic speaker to ever appear in a Test (when he was on-field as an England substitute), Calum MacLeod
enjoyed a bumper 2014, when he hit four international hundreds for Scotland, and was instrumental in their seven-match winning streak in the World Cup qualifiers. MacLeod first signed for Warwickshire as a seamer, but had his action soon reported by the umpires. Only 26 still, Macleod quickly transformed himself into a dynamic batsman, and now opens for Scotland - he had been a No. 9 when his ODI career began.
Brendon McCullum suggested changes would be made to the XI, allowing the more fragile players some recuperation time. He did not reveal who would sit out, but Daniel Vettori appears a prime candidate for a rest day, with tearaway Adam Milne also likely to be given a break.
New Zealand: (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (capt), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk) , 7 Corey Anderson, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Adam Milne, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan
Scotland's top order is reasonably settled. They may have to choose between playing a left-arm seamer, or fielding an extra batsman - likely to be Rob Taylor or Richie Berrington.
Scotland (probable): 1 Kyle Coetzer, 2 Calum McLeod, 3 Hamish Gardiner, 4 Matt Machan, 5 Preston Mommsen (capt), 6 Richie Berrington/ Rob Taylor, 7 Mathew Cross (wk), 8 John Davey, 9 Alasdair Evans, 10 Majid Haq, 11 Iain Wardlaw
Pitch and conditions
The flat Dunedin surface and the ground's short boundaries allow for big scores. Expect another 300+ total if New Zealand are batting first, particularly if the sunshine that is forecast comes through.
Stats and trivia
- This is Scotland's third World Cup campaign. They have lost all eight matches they've played across the 1999 and 2007 campaigns
- New Zealand have not lost a game in the South Island of the country since the loss to Pakistan in Christchurch in January 2011
- Scotland lost by only one run in a one-day match against a New Zealand XI in October last year
"Whether you beat Sri Lanka or Scotland, you still get the same amount of points in this World Cup. We're not good enough to take any team for granted."
"Grant Bradburn has got huge experience with playing in New Zealand and coached probably a lot of the guys in that New Zealand team. He's given us some valuable insights in our preparation for the game tomorrow."
Preston Mommsen on the advantages of having a New Zealand coach in Bradburn
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando