Preview – All-round strong England look set to clinch their first World Cup trophy v New Zealand
For a large part of the tournament, it was expected that the final would either be between India- England, England – Australia or India- Australia. The one that we are getting is certainly unexpected.
England and New Zealand will be fighting it out at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on the 14th of July. This means that we will have a new winner for certain this time as both the teams are yet to lift an ODI World Cup. England have reached the finals of the World Cup after 1992 where they lost to Pakistan and New Zealand are once again the finalists after 2015 where they were vanquished by Australia.
Hence, this should be an interesting and exciting game and one would hope that it lives up to the billing of a final.
In the last 5 ODIs between the two sides, England has won 4 matches and lost just once. In the World Cup 2019 match between them too, England thrashed New Zealand by 119 runs. What’s more is that England has charged into the final on the back of three back-to-back comprehensive and dominating victories. Yes, New Zealand did surprise India in the semi-final and used all their skill and nous to upstage them. But England will still begin this game as clear favourites.
England’s opening pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow has now hit three hundred partnerships on the trot and is in scintillating form. Then in Joe Root, skipper Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Butler they have a solid and attractive middle order that can destroy the Kiwi bowling.
England’s bowling too has been splendid with Jofra Archer (19 wickets in the tournament) leading the way. He has been ably supported by the brilliant Chris Woakes, along with Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett. Even Ben Stokes and leg-spinner Adil Rashid have been good.
New Zealand, meanwhile, have the same issues plaguing them throughout the tournament. Martin Guptill has been in horrible form and Henry Nicholls hasn’t been able to do much either. The onus will once again be on captain Kane Williamson, one of the leading run-getters of the tournament, and the experience of Ross Taylor. James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme have been inconsistent and would need to step up.
New Zealand’s bowling, however, has been top notch as they showed in the game against India. Trent Boult has been superb and Matt Henry has been excellent at the start when there is swing. Lockie Ferguson would be another fast bowler to watch out for as he can hurry the English batsmen. Off-spinner Mitchell Santner can be a crucial weapon if he is as miserly as he has been throughout the tournament.
Pitch Conditions and Match Prediction:
The pitch at Lord’s is expected to be even and true throughout the final. The World Cup 2019 has seen 4 matches being played at Lord’s and all of them have been won convincingly by the team batting first. Hence, winning the toss might be very crucial.
The team batting first should score in the range of 280-300 and the wicket should slow down as the game progresses. If New Zealand bat first, they must target a score of 270-280 or else they will be in trouble.
Considering England’s form and all-round strength, they should emerge victorious in this match and lift the much-awaited ODI World Cup trophy for the first time. However, New Zealand, the perennial underdogs, can muster up one last bit of magic and surprise England as they did India. But that looks unlikely as England look really determined to win this time.