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HomeCricket4th T20I Preview: Will England or New Zealand finally stand up?

4th T20I Preview: Will England or New Zealand finally stand up?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

The battle of the battered.

Even before the second half of the Trans-Tasman Tri-Series begins in New Zealand, Australia have already steamrolled their way into the final, with three comfortable victories. New Zealand and England, both strong limited overs sides, are currently struggling in the format, and will be hoping that a change of setting can bring about a strong change of fortune.

Supposedly an excellent T20I side, New Zealand have lost three T20Is in a row, and worse for them, skipper Kane Williamson is in doubt with a back injury. Had this series been only in Australia, I would have given them absolutely no chance, as they seem as though they are on another planet on grounds with boundaries longer than 60m in length. They will be comfortable with home conditions, and start favourites as a result in this one.

A nice change for New Zealand after a game in Australia…

England have been down, then up, then down again on their Australia tour. Walloped 4-0 in the Tests,
England then walloped Australia in the ODIs, and have then been comprehensively beaten twice by Australia so far in this T20I series. Will the relief of finally leaving Australia see an upturn in England’s T20I performance, after three straight defeats dating back to the England summer v West Indies?

Key to a New Zealand win

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New Zealand’s batting was a big let down in their loss to Australia.
One problem for them is the role of Kane Williamson. Simon Doull recently spoke about Kane Williamson’s role in the side – unless he opens, he shouldn’t play. There is certainly merit to this statement looking at Williamson’s recent form, as well as the fact that he is not a power hitter, but rather a player that can help set up the innings.
A swap between he and Colin Munro would make sense, despite Munro’s excellent T20 form over the last 13 months. The key for New Zealand would be to get through the first six overs without too many wickets lost – ideally 50 or so for none or one down, and give a platform for the likes of Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme to launch.

Key to an England win

England’s batting has also been a let down in this series so far.
Only mustering 137/7 v Australia in Melbourne, England’s batsmen gave their bowlers little chance against Australia’s powerful batting line up. Eoin Morgan was a loss for them in that game, and it looks like he will be out again. On paper, England’s top six is powerful, and it’s time they show it.
This game will be decided on which batting line up steps up more.

Predicted teams:

For the betterment of New Zealand’s performance, Kane Williamson, if fit, should open the batting. Mark Chapman, who has played 23 T20Is and 2 ODIs for Hong Kong, is in line for a debut, so is Tim Seifert. New Zealand’s bowling attack looks good on paper, and will be hoping for the batsmen to have a good outing.
New Zealand XI: 1. Martin Guptill, 2. Kane Williamson (c), 3. Colin Munro, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Mark Chapman, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Tim Seifert (wk), 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Ish Sodhi, 11. Trent Boult
It is unlikely Liam Dawson will play after going for 23 in two overs on a big ground that is the MCG. In New Zealand, grounds are smaller so England could opt for an all-seam attack. Liam Plunkett is in line to play after missing the start of the series with a hamstring issue, and could replace Tom Curran.
England XI: 1. Jason Roy, 2. Alex Hales, 3. Dawid Malan, 4. James Vince, 5. Jos Buttler (c/wk), 6. Sam Billings, 7. David Willey, 8. Adil Rashid, 9. Liam Plunkett, 10. Chris Jordan, 11. Mark Wood

Stats & Facts:

  • New Zealand and England have both lost their last three T20Is.
  • Kane Williamson’s last 8 innings at no.3: 28, 12, 8, 17*, 19, 0, 9 and 8.
  • England’s highest T20I opening partnership came at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, where Alex Hales and Michael Lumb put on 143 to in a ten-wicket win v New Zealand in 2013.
  • Tim Southee needs just one wicket to pass Nathan McCullum as New Zealand’s all-time leading wicket taker in T20Is.

Prediction:

This game will be decided by which team can bat better.  
New Zealand will win this one as they are back at home, with a good bowling attack against an England batting line up a little out of form. Both batting sides will enjoy the shorter boundaries, but New Zealand, with more experience in these conditions, might fare better. 
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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