It's hard to see exactly where all this optimism around the Black Caps' Twenty20 World Cup chances has come from.
Two consecutive warm-up losses (one gallant, one limp) and a severe dose of the Sri Lankan version of Delhi belly (Colombo cramp?) have literally knocked the stuffing out of New Zealand's build-up, and ensured last week's one-off win over India - in what was a glorified warm-up game anyway - is a distant memory.
Yes, the whimsical nature of the shortest form of the game means they're always an outside chance - but so is everyone else. In fact, they're not even guaranteed to get out of their group.
Of the four "minnow" teams that dot each pool, the Black Caps have to beat easily the strongest in Bangladesh. Even then, qualification for the Super Eights is far from guaranteed, as it's easy to see Pakistan tipping them up then losing to Bangladesh, leaving the teams separated by net run rate only.
The biggest problem for the Black Caps seems to be a lack of genuine game breakers. T20s can often be decided by inspired 10-minute salvos with bat or ball (see Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis in the opening game).
Other than Ross Taylor with the bat, and potentially Tim Southee with the ball, it's hard to see where the Black Caps can really bust a game wide open. The likes of Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum can be devastating on their day, but haven't done it frequently enough of late.
Even with the high-profile absence of Kevin Pietersen, the tournament is still poised for big hitters to steal the show. Virender Sehwag, Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara, Albie Morkel, Kieron Pollard and many more will be eyeing sixes and plenty of them.
The warm-up defeat to South Africa underlined the importance of Taylor to the New Zealand side. With him swinging merrily, victory was looking more and more likely. Once he departed the Proteas regained their composure and things ended swiftly.
That match showed that New Zealand's long batting line-up is hardly an advantage in T20 cricket, because by the time the tailenders are required to pad up, they're invariably needing more than two runs a ball to win; a task far beyond them.
Where the Black Caps will hold their own is in the bowling department. Curiously, the top six-ranked T20 bowlers are all currently spinners and New Zealand will have two shrewd operators in Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum.
Tim Southee and Kyle Mills have experience in this format on the subcontinent and should be able to find the blockhole more often than not. Opposing teams won't receive much charity from those four, anyway.
At least there will be no complacency in the camp ahead of tonight's opening game against Bangladesh. Given their recent record against the erstwhile-minnows, there can hardly afford to be.
The Black Caps have to win both their games not just to make sure of their progress, but to make the other teams sit up and take note.
They'll come in as dark horses, as they always do. It will take a sustained team effort - laced with individual brilliance - to bring them into the light and end a 12-year stretch without a major international trophy.
Fun, fanfare and a thrilling first-up clash - well, two out of three ain't bad.
Whoever scheduled Sri Lanka to meet Zimbabwe on Tuesday's opening clash needs their head read. Every major global tournament needs a blockbuster opening, and group C could've provided it with the hosts facing South Africa.
Instead, they brushed aside a hapless Zimbabwe with such ease that there seemed little excitement over Mendis's world record figures of six for eight.
Let's hope that damp squib didn't set the tone for the next three weeks.