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CWC 2019 – England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

CWC 2019 – England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. ENG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match

After much deliberation and possible scenarios, especially over the past two weeks, hosts England have reached the CWC 2019 Semi Finals.

Just four days ago, England found themselves outside the top four. In the end, though, they got the job done, achieving the absolute minimum expectation of them by reaching the knockout stage. They stepped up in their final two games, and for that they deserve praise for their effort.

New Zealand, on the other hand, have crawled into the Semi Finals. Their total of 186 was another chapter in the book of batting struggles this tournament. They must produce a significant turnaround if they are to challenge either Australia or India in the Semi Final, otherwise they will just prove to be a small little speed bump for their opponent on the road to the Final.

Here are five talking points from England’s huge 119-run win.

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1. Who will beat England on a good batting pitch?

First, it was hand England the Cup full stop. Now, it’s only if they win the toss.

Jonny Bairstow’s comments ahead of their crucial clash against India drew criticism. Now, with England having scored well on two good batting tracks, criticism from rival fans and pundits have been amplified further. Are England only capable of performing well in conditions that don’t offer much swing or seam? Can this England side be considered great, even if they win this World Cup?

Being as neutral as possible (given I am Australian), the answer to the second question is no. Yes, the pitch slowed up as the day went on, but it was terrific for batting early on. It was not like the pitch against Australia, where England looked totally confused on how to play. Greatness should be measured by what a side can do in all kinds of conditions, overcoming obstacles to perform well rather than showing frustration in an interview about how the pitches have been different than usual. With Bairstow and England so good in these conditions, the challenge for the other sides remaining is how they beat them if faced with the same in the knockouts. It still remains to be seen whether England can chase down totals in high-pressure games.

CWC 2019 - England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. ENG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match
Image: ICC Twitter. England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points – Bairstow was excellent.

2. Were New Zealand lucky to reach the Semi Finals?

From one controversial opinion to another. Were New Zealand lucky to reach the Semi Finals?

The Black Caps have crawled into the Semi Finals. Three straight losses has seen them lose all momentum. However, is it of any surprise? They were pushing things really close in earlier matches, winning by the skin of their teeth where better judgement and execution from the opposition might have seen different results.

They snuck past a Bangladesh side that could have better taken their chances. South Africa didn’t review an edge off Kane Williamson and missed a host of other chances. Carlos Brathwaite was inches away from winning the game for West Indies. With huge reliance on Kane Williamson, the washout against India and Pakistan’s washout vs Sri Lanka, New Zealand might well be considered fortunate. In the end, Pakistan’s horrible loss to West Indies came to New Zealand’s benefit.

Also read: Drop Rohit, pay the price

Download: Making cricket an interactive experience! Discover Harrison Cricket Apps ODI version. For full screenshots, click here.

3. Mark Wood continues his excellent tournament

Mark Wood entered the tournament with an ODI bowling average in excess of 45. At the end of England’s league campaign, Wood has finished with 16 wickets in eight games at 23.

This is an excellent reward for a bowler who has had his fair share of injuries. As New Zealand continued to huff and puff to stay in the game, Wood snuffed out any chance they had by continuing to build pressure in the middle overs. It is what he has been doing for most of the tournament, and England need him to do the same in the knockout stages.

Also, what Wood’s pace showed was the importance of Lockie Ferguson for New Zealand. Ruled out with hamstring stiffness, the Black Caps missed Ferguson’s pace and aggression particularly against Eoin Morgan – the recipe for his stay towards the top of the wicket-takers chart in CWC 2019.

CWC 2019 - England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. ENG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match
Image: ICC Twitter. England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points – Mark Wood has been good.

4. New Zealand’s batting…

The less said, the better. But, it just has to be mentioned yet again.

Dating back to their match against Bangladesh, New Zealand’s batting has never really clicked into gear. Their average opening stand in CWC 2019 stands at just 27.5, boosted heavily by an unbeaten 137 against Sri Lanka. Their possible Semi Final opponents, Australia, average close to 90. Kane Williamson has played this tournament almost as an opener, keeping New Zealand afloat even as their middle order has been on and off. He has scored 30% of his team’s runs which is far too much for any team, regardless of how good he may be.

So, can New Zealand get it right in the Semi Final? It is not easy to simply flick on a switch, but Martin Guptill is certainly a better player than his CWC 2019 performance suggests. He was a crucial man for the Black Caps ahead of the tournament, and remains so if they are any chance of lifting the Cup. Also, New Zealand must rotate the strike better, as they are eating up far too many dot balls. More proactive and confident batting, coupled with the timely fifty by Tom Latham, can hold the Black Caps in better stead.

Also read: How good is this Jasprit Bumrah bloke?

CWC 2019 - England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. ENG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup match
Getty Images. England v New Zealand: 5 key talking points – There is plenty on Williamson’s plate.

5. Is the form of Jos Buttler a concern for England?

The reintroduction of Jason Roy has reaped immediate reward for England. His return from injury was a significant boost for Jonny Bairstow in particular, who has played with plenty with freedom en route to two straight hundreds.

However, should England be concerned about the form of Jos Buttler? He hasn’t got going the way many know he can in recent times, with the proof being that he has scored 150 runs in seven innings apart from his century against Pakistan in England’s second match.

He has the quality and power to deliver game-changing knocks in the knockout games. England will be hoping that is the case.

Download: Making cricket an interactive experience! Discover Harrison Cricket Apps ODI version. For full screenshots, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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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