New Zealand vice-captain Brendon McCullum admits his side will need skipper Daniel Vettori back in action if they are to get revenge on England.
The Kiwis were beaten by England on home turf earlier this year but they have a chance to make amends in Thursday's first Test at Lord's.
McCullum knows New Zealand's chances of getting off to a winning start in the three-Test series will be greatly improved if Vettori recovers from a finger injury in time to play.
The spinner needed stitches in his left index finger after suffering the injury during his country's tour match against Essex. Vettori has had the stitches removed but is still not certain to play at Lord's after missing New Zealand's warm-up against the England Lions.
"We're crossing our fingers that he's going to be all right. He's such a huge part of our team captaincy-wise, bowling-wise and also with the bat and to have such an experienced player like that on the sidelines is obviously a huge frustration," McCullum said.
"If Daniel's playing it certainly gives us a lot more opportunity to win a series than what it does without him."
McCullum believes New Zealand's performance against the Lions was good enough to suggest they can upset England.
"This was a thorough workout leading into the Test match. I think we got through some pretty sound work for the bowlers and the batsmen really put their hands up and took their opportunities," McCullum said.
"Hopefully we lead into the Test match with some real confidence after this display."
Lions captain Rob Key has played against New Zealand twice already during the tour and warned England not to underestimate the Black caps.
They're certainly an improving side, I think," Key said.
"I played them in one of their first games on tour and there was a bit more life in the Rose Bowl pitch.
"They're a very well oiled outfit, really. You can't underestimate them.
"They haven't got that legend of the game coming in, there's no Murali, no Warne, that sort of thing, but they're a very well-drilled outfit.
"They stick to their plans pretty well and it's our job to negate that and try be as positive as you can. They know their game and they just stick to it and it's whether or not you're up to it."