England came back brilliantly with that crushing win against India last Sunday but again they still need to win their final game to assure a place in the last four. This predicament of the hosts makes this game as a virtual quarterfinal for them and this becomes yet another pressure game for Eoin Morgan’s men. The positive for England from the India game was the return of Jason Roy. His innings at the top showed why England have been missing him in this tournament. The presence of Roy also seems to have had a positive effect on Jonny Bairstow who looked in fine touch during that hundred against India.
England’s bowling also looked pretty good in that game as the bowlers used to the conditions well by bowling lots of cutters and slower ones. They read the pitch well and dropped a spinner to accommodate Liam Plunkett which worked out great for the home side. They will once again be playing on a used pitch which might mean that they might go with the same XI which will mean that Moeen Ali will have to sit out again.
For New Zealand, through this game is important as well as they have lost two games in a row after remaining unbeaten in the first half of the tournament. Even though losing this game might not affect their semi-final chances they would want to carry the momentum of win into the final four. The biggest problem for New Zealand has been their opening
combination. Martin Guptill hasn’t been in greatest of forms which means that their middle order has been under tremendous pressure. They started the tournament with Colin Munro who has struggled for runs and in their last game, Henry Nichols opened with Guptill with similar results. Kane Williamson will be hoping that the openers can provide them with a good start on a pitch which promises to be good for batting.
Head to head:
There is nothing between these two teams in terms of the head to head record with New Zealand having a slight advantage historically and in the World Cups.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand): The pressure on Kane Williamson to score runs has been enormous and even though the New Zealand captain has responded well he would appreciate some runs from Ross Taylor in this all-important game. Taylor has been New Zealand’s best ODI batsman in recent times and this will be his chance to step up for his team.
Trent Boult (New Zealand): England’s top order is in great form especially Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow. Trent Boult has been brilliant with the new ball in this tournament and also took a hattrick against Australia in the previous game. He will be looking to dismiss the English openers soon to put pressure on the middle order.
Jason Roy (England): Roy proved how crucial he is in the England ODI side. He came into the XI after missing a few games but looked confident immediately. Even though he did not score a hundred, his innings gave England the confidence which was lacking in the previous games. He will try to upset the New Zealand New ball attack to provide England with another great start.
Liam Plunkett (England): Plunkett was brilliant against India. His cutters and slower ones on the middle overs on these used pitches are hard to negotiate. He has been one of the best bowlers for England over the last couple years on ODIs and will once again be important in restricting the New Zealand batting line up.
What they said?
“We had a really good around-the-table interview and then quotes get sent out and they’re misinterpreted in so many ways. At no point have I ever said the public’s not behind us. It was in a very jovial and relaxed manner. Then obviously to read the things and how it was taken was very disappointing.” Said Jonny Bairstow after England’s win over India about the controversial quotes which came out ahead of that game.
“I think Kane is a fantastic world-class batsman and a world-class captain, you know. You don’t have to look far, the last couple of matches. There are some pundits out there saying he was a great captain. We lose a couple of games and he is a bad captain. He is still a great captain, leads from the front and the team respects him and I love playing under him” Said Ross Taylor about his captain Kane Williamson ahead of this important game.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid
New Zealand XI:
Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Both these teams need a win, England more so than New Zealand. While England comes in with the confidence of beating India, New Zealand’s confidence took a hit with that crushing defeat against Australia. England is looking confident and is definitely the stronger team out of the two. New Zealand is a good fighting unity and they wouldn’t make it easy for England but again the latter will start this game as the overwhelming favorites.