New Zealand, co-hosts with Australia, have their tails up after a 4-2 domination of Sri Lanka in a recent warm up series followed by a resounding warm-up win this week over tournament heavyweights South Africa.
Sri Lanka followed their New Zealand losses with a defeat to lowly-ranked Zimbabwe, although throughout their period acclimatising to New Zealand conditions they have been without their ODI ace Lasith Malinga.
Malinga has the X-factor and he will make the difference, according to Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.
Senior New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor rates the round-arm quick "the best death bowler probably who has ever played cricket".
But despite the spectre of Malinga, who returns after six months sidelined by an ankle injury, New Zealand remain favourites to set the tournament alight with a home win and are widely regarded as potential finalists.
"I don't know if we'd be favourites, but everyone's saying we're a good shot," said wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.
"If we go in with a positive mind frame and we know we can beat any side on our day then that's a good thing. If we go out and perform as we should we've got a big chance."
New Zealand have developed into a well-balanced unit over the past year and are not fazed by the inconsistency of the Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum opening partnership.
Coach Mike Hesson believes if they fail at the top then it simply provides a chance for someone else to step up down the order.
Kane Williamson and Taylor have been in impressive form at three and four as have Ronchi, fresh from an unbeaten 170 against Sri Lanka, and all-rounders Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott.
They are also laden with talent in the bowling department, able to call on various combinations using Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan with Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum providing spin options.
Swing master Boult wrapped up his World Cup preparations with a five wicket bag against South Africa on Wednesday with Brendon McCullum and Williamson both producing half centuries.

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