Auckland: With New Zealand cricket facing further upheaval England have completed a smooth build up to an international series which starts here Tuesday with the first of two Twenty20 fixtures.
England were too strong for limited-over strugglers Canterbury in two 50-over matches at the weekend and, importantly, came through the matches injury free.
New Zealand's lead up to the series has been far less settled.
Star bowler Shane Bond was dumped last week after signing with the rebel Indian Cricket League, then captain Daniel Vettori on Sunday pulled out of the Twenty20 matches because of injury and Scott Styris retired from Test play.
Vettori is also in doubt for the first one-day international.
For England captain Paul Collingwood the news was positive, especially with the form of his players in the warm up matches.
"It's a good start to the tour," he said.
"I think we've got the players here to do well at Twenty20 cricket and it's vital we do so for the one-dayers -- you can do a lot of (psychological) damage."
England and New Zealand play two Twenty20 matches -- in Auckland on Tuesday and Christchurch on Thursday -- before starting a series of five limited over games in Wellington on Saturday with three full Tests next month.
Against Canterbury, England quickly found their rhythm with all the top order batsmen scoring 40 or more with the exception of wicketkeeper Phil Mustard.
In the second match, opener Alastair Cook cracked an unbeaten 138 off 140 balls and Luke Wright blasted 42 off 15 balls while Collingwood took three for 15 off five overs.
In game one, James Anderson produced figures of five for 47.
"James Anderson is obviously going to be a spearhead," said Peter Fulton, the only current New Zealand international in the Canterbury side.
"He showed in these games he's going to be pretty dangerous at the top of the order."
With several leading players retiring in recent seasons, including Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan, New Zealand are looking to this series to gauge where they stand internationally.
With New Zealand trying to rebuild and lift their Test rankings from a lowly seventh towards their third place in the one-day ladder, little can be read into their recent one-day and Test series whitewash of lowly Bangladesh.
More relevant would be the one-day losses to Australia and South Africa late last year while England were winning away to India and Sri Lanka.
The England series will also be a test of Vettori's leadership skills after he took the captaincy from Stephen Fleming last year.
Fleming is no longer available for the short forms of the game but remains the cornerstone of New Zealand's Test line up.
Without Bond, New Zealand's bowling has a second-best look about it with Chris Martin and Kyle Mills likely to share the new ball.
Of the 88 Tests played between the two nations, England have won 41, lost only seven with 40 drawn.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Peter Fulton, Jacob Oram, Kyle Mills, Paul Hitchcock, Chris Martin, Tim Southee and Jeetan Patel.
England: Paul Collingwood (captain), Alastair Cook, Phil Mustard, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Luke Wright, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson, Tim Ambrose, Chris Tremlett and James Tredwell.