England’s win over Australia in the semi finals showed why they have been the best ODI side over the last couple of years in the world. The clinical way England dispatched a very good Australian side showed that they are gelling well as a bowling and batting unit at the right time. On that pitch at Edgbaston bowling a team out for just over 220 was a phenomenal achievement and they way the English openers made light work of the target was a nice touch to a dominating win.
Eoin Morgan will be happy especially with the bowling effort as Chris Woakes was brilliant with the new ball along with the impressive Jofra Archer. Adil Rashid getting wickets also would have been a relief for the team management as well as it is a crucial piece of the puzzle for this English side. The batting which is the strength of this England side has though hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet which may the only worry for the captain and the management. The middle order has collapsed over the tournament when the top order has failed barring couple of brilliant eighties by Ben Stokes. Jos Buttler hasn’t scored many runs since his hundred against Pakistan which also be a concern for the management. The biggest confidence for the England batting is their openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow and they have been in Brilliant side.
For New Zealand side though they have once again made the finals showing lots of tenacity and fight during their semi final game against India. Unlike England they scrapped through their semi final game which went through to the wire. The win was very New Zealand like and the way they have gone through the tournament. Their batting played well enough to put up a fighting total on that pitch led by Kane Williamson and their bowling did well on a pitch assisting pacers to fashion a remarkable win. Like England New Zealand also have few worries with their playing XI. Martin Guptill hasn’t scored any runs in this tournament and they have struggled with the opening combination throughout. The middle order is thin with Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham batting way higher than they should be in the line up.
For New Zealand to trouble England they would once again need a huge contribution from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor with the bat.
Head to head:
New Zealand have a slight advantage over England in ODIs historically and also in the World Cups but both these teams are meeting in World Cup final for the first time, so these records will not mean for much.
Jason Roy (England): Roy has been England’s talisman in this tournament and his presence in the XI seems to be the confidence their batting needs. He has been brilliant since his come back and has scored three back to back fifties. England will be hoping for another fluent innings from the opener at the top one more time.
Jofra Archer (England): Archer has justified all the hype surrounding him prior to the tournament. He has provided them with the X-Factor in the bowling which they were lacking in their ODI XI. Archer is not only their highest wicketaker but also has been brilliant with the new ball. Considering the struggles of New Zealand top order he will hope to take wickets with the new ball to get Kane Williamson in early to the crease to put pressure on the kiwis.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand): Kane Williamson has been New Zealand’s best batter in this tournament by a long way. He has practically carried his side through the tournament with some amazing batting. He will once again be required to play a crucial role and hope that one of his other experienced colleagues will chime in on this important day.
Matt Henry (New Zealand): Matt Henry was brilliant in the semi finals and was the one who broke the Indian batting during their chase. His familiarity with the English conditions and his ability to move the new ball will come in handy in the finals. Considering the strength of the English top order, couple of wickets at the top can really set them back.
What they Said?
“We’ve sort of spoken a little bit about results and it’s not so much about that, it’s not about willing the perfect performance, you don’t have to be perfect, but it is about how we want to operate as a side and that’s been the case throughout this tournament,” Said the New Zealand captain Kane Williamson ahead of the World Cup finals.
“It means a huge amount to me and everybody in the changing room. It’s a culmination of four years of hard work, dedication, a lot of planning and it presents a huge opportunity to go on and try and win a World Cup,” Said an excited Eoin Morgan about the World Cup finals
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson
Even though England start as the overwhelming favourites New Zealand are a dangerous side in such big games. Both teams haven’t won a World cup till now and there will be enormous pressure on players from both sides. England will be playing at home in front of huge crowd and this will not be easy. They are playing in a world cup finals after 27 years and Eoin Morgan will know that keeping nerves in check will be crucial for success. This is a hard one to call but the team who handle nerves better will come on top in this title clash.