Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 Match Preview - New Zealand Vs England

New Zealand Vs England - Wellington, 20th February 2015

Hosts New Zealand will play their 3rd game in the space of a week as they will take on England tomorrow at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. While New Zealand are on a high after winning both their previous games the English is coming after being hammered by the rampaging Australian team.

The New Zealand batting looks well settled and every one of them seems to be in good nick. They understand their roles well and the Kiwis have all the bases covered with dashers at the top in McCullum and Guptill, steady hands in Kane Williamson and grant Elliot and explosive firepower at the bottom with Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi. Though they struggled a bit against Scotland but I guess that was just due to complacency.

The bowling of New Zealand is probably the strongest in this World Cup. The opening pair of Southee and Boult are dangerous with the new ball, both of them swinging the ball both ways. The return of Vettori has not been good news for the opposition batsmen either as his stifling accuracy and canny changes of pace have led to the downfall of many. Then there is the raw pace of Adam Milne and they are backed up by medium pacers Corey Anderson and Grant Elliot.

How England handle the swing of Trent Boult 
might well decide which way the match will swing!

The English batting needs a revival if they are to survive against the excellent pair of New Zealand opening bowlers. Moeen Ali has the talent but he must reign himself in just a bit at the beginning and then look to unfurl those wristy cover drives and flicks. They must also bring James Taylor at number 3 where he can settle down and play the whole 50 overs. Joe Root must also first get his eye in and then start playing the innovative shots. If these batsmen can lay a platform so that Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler come in around the 35th over then I think the English can plunder the best bowling attacks.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad must bowl tight lines to the Kiwi openers especially Brendon McCullum as he can take the game away from them in the blink of an eye. Finn and Woakes must also bowl tight lines and I feel that Finn must bowl aggressively with some short balls and then throw in the yorkers as a surprise. Root and Ali will provide the spin options but they are flimsy to say the least.

Key Battles: New Zealand Vs England

Brendon McCullum vs James Anderson

Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi vs Stuart Broad and Steven Finn

Tim Southee and Trent Boult vs The English top order

This is a very important match because if New Zealand will win this one then they will put their foot in the Quarter Final but they will also gain confidence ahead of their most important clash against the co-hosts Australia. And if England lose this one then their campaign will be in shambles already after just one week into the tournament. All in all this will be a mouth-watering clash.

PS - The image is courtesy http://www.espncricinfo.com/

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