Bit players key to Black Caps' World Cup success

11:31 am on 14 February 2015

It's not the leading players who will be the key to New Zealand's success at the Cricket World Cup, but the impact of the lesser lights, says former Black Caps coach Warren Lees.

Brendon McCullum knows how important home support will be for the Black Caps World Cup aspirations.

Just like the fans, the Black Caps need to support each other Photo: Photosport

Much has been made of the need for batsmen Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to carry the side, but Lees, who coached the side at the 1992 World Cup, doesn't see it that way.

"The bit players are the important ones because to win a tournament like this you're going to be judged by your players 9,10,11,12 ,13," Lees says.

"You're pretty confident your top players will be your top players and they're ready for this and they're experienced. I'm not saying they're going to succeed everytime... but you need your lesser players to cope with the situation."

"They've got to remember to take a deep breath and calm themselves down before they bowl their first ball at Eden Park in front of 50,000 people against a team as tough as South Africa perhaps," he says.

Lees says if there's one piece of advice he'd offer the current side it's to "stick together."

"It's got to be a family going through the country. It's got to be a family not of just the 15 players but the whole group, even in the bad times. And there will be bad times, there will be some, but they've just got to stick together.

"Not build a fence around your team stuff because you've got to enter into the whole World Cup (experience) but you've got to be supportive of each other and they've got to make sure the positive attitude they've built up continues."

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