Napier - New Zealand, right now, are Jay Gatsby. They have got their place all spruced up, sashayed around in their most suave outfits, gobbled up the canapés (Sri Lanka), and on Tuesday, aim to pour themselves a toast against Pakistan. All that remains is to await the arrival of their heart’s desire, their vision in platinum and gold - the World Cup.

So in this final ODI outing anywhere before the big party, the stakes are really not so high for them. They have already proved themselves among the better teams in the world - perhaps in the leading trio of contenders, alongside Australia and South Africa - and 13 of their 15 squad members have struck form somewhere in the past three weeks. New Zealand have been experimenting with their strategy in the past two matches, and if they drop a game in that manner, neither the players nor their public will have cause for concern.

Pakistan’s concerns are more pressing. Tuesday’s match will be an opportunity to answer any number of the questions swirling around their campaign. Have they picked the right squad? Is Younus Khan still good enough? Will the attack cope without Junaid Khan? Are three frontline bowlers enough? Is Mohammad Hafeez worth his place as a specialist batsman, if he fails his bowling test on February 6?

But perhaps even for them, this is a low-octane affair. For most teams a victory leading into a World Cup is just the thing, but Pakistan thrive in adversity and their major tournament record is a law unto itself. The completion of a 0-2 loss in Napier may just mean they have won the favour of cricket’s gods for the next six weeks.

Martin Guptill has had two golden ducks in his past four innings but after surviving an lbw shout first ball on Saturday, he appeared to be moving towards his best form, sending sweetly-timed balls down the ground and square on the leg side. He was out for 39, which isn’t quite enough to suggest he is now flowing, so he will hope for another shot at a substantial score to put him and the team at ease.

Was there a tinge of retribution in Shahid Afridi’s assault on Corey Anderson’s bowling on Saturday? Afridi has said that having his record for the fastest ODI ton bested is one of the regrets of his career, and with AB de Villiers now having struck a 31-ball hundred, Afridi’s chances of reclaiming his old crown are slim. If there is one man in cricket who will not be daunted by probability though, it is Afridi. His 29-ball 67 in Wellington suggested he was approaching his power-hitting best. Record or not, he can be devastating for Pakistan.

Kane Williamson’s shoulder has played up again and his fitness will be assessed on the morning of the game. If he doesn’t play, Tom Latham may have another chance to get himself into gear after a modest home summer.

Pakistan are relying on part-timers Younus Khan and Haris Sohail to make up the quota of the fifth bowler. They will perhaps stick to a similar combination but may swap out seamer Eshan Adil, for Sohail Khan.

NEW ZEALAND (PROBABLE): Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (capt), Kane Williamson/Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi (wk), Corey Anderson, Nathan McCullum/Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Trent Boult.

PAKISTAN (PROBABLE): M Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Younus Khan, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, M Irfan, Sohail Khan/Ehsan Adil.