ABOUT THE MATCH
England will begin their month-long tour of New Zealand with a five-match T20 International series. The opening game is scheduled to be played on November 1 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
The pitch is likely to remain the same across the forty overs. And also since the new ball is expected to do a bit more of the surface early on in the game, the team that wins the toss here will probably elect to bowl first.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
There could be a bit of cloud cover during the match. The chances of rain, however, are extremely low which means a full forty-over game is on the cards. It will be a pretty cold day with the temperature expected to hover around 14 degrees Celsius.
The Hagley Oval has not hosted a T20 international before. However, it has hosted quite a few one-day internationals and some of those have been high-scoring encounters, showing that the pitch has been pretty good for batting. So one can expect a good sporting surface for this game.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF New Zealand
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF England
James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Sam Billings (wk), Sam Curran, Eoin Morgan (c), Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Patrick Brown
- New Zealand has been dealt a blow ahead of the T20Is with their regular skipper and star batsman Kane Williamson ruled out of the entire series due to a hip injury.
- Veteran fast bowler Tim Southee will be leading the team’s 14-man squad in the absence of Williamson.
- Allrounder Lockie Ferguson has returned from his thumb injury but he will be replaced in the squad with Trent Boult for the last two matches.
- The home team has also picked Blair Tickner and Jimmy Neesham who had an impressive World Cup campaign.
- New Zealand has had a good year as far as the twenty-over format is concerned.
- They have played seven T20 internationals so far this year and have won five of them.
- The Black Caps have won their last three T20I series, they beat Sri Lanka in a one-off match at home in January and then clinched another home series with a 2-1 win over India in February before downing Sri Lanka again this time by 2-1 at Pallekele in September.
- England has named a 15-man squad led by Eoin Morgan for the T20I leg of their tour of New Zealand.
- Wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings will be making his international comeback since suffering a shoulder injury that had kept him out of the World Cup squad.
- The visitors have rested several frontline players and have blooded quite a few fresh faces into their squad like Lewis Gregory, Tom Banton, Patrick Brown, Saqib Mahmood, and Matthew Parkinson.
- Morgan is likely to bat at the top of the order while his deputy Billings will probably bat at number six.
- England has been very impressive of late in the game’s shortest format – they have won eight of their last ten T20 internationals including the most recently played five on the bounce.
- They are yet to face a T20I defeat this year having won all four of their encounters. England has won their previous three series against Sri Lanka in a one-off match before sweeping the West Indies 3-0.
- Their last T20I assignment was against Pakistan at home in the month of May – a one-off match which they won by seven wickets.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
England and New Zealand have both been faring well in the game’s 20-over format. The hosts will be without their captain Kane Williamson but we feel they still have enough firepower to take down a depleted England side.
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