Preview – Table-toppers New Zealand have an edge against arch-rivals Australia
New Zealand is having a dream World Cup this time, having remained unbeaten in 6 games and earned 11 points at a Net Run Rate of +1.306. They rightly deserve to be at the top of the table. Australia, meanwhile, appears to be peaking at the right time and barring that game against India have won all their matches. They are second on the points table with 10 points in 6 games at a Net Run Rate of +0.849.
It is thus difficult to predict who will emerge victorious when Australia and New Zealand clash in their ICC World Cup 2019 match-up at Lord’s. The two teams share a rich history and a great rivalry over the decades; they were also the finalists of the World Cup 2015. In the last 5 ODIs between the two sides, New Zealand has won twice, and Australia has one once while two games have seen no result.
In World Cup 2019, though, New Zealand has looked like the team to beat. They have recovered from precarious situations and won all their games so far. Captain Kane Williamson (373 runs in 4 innings) leading from the front followed by Ross Taylor (200 runs in 4 innings). The others like opener Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have been inconsistent. But Colin de Grandhomme has shown that he can play a match-turning innings if it’s his day like he showed with his 60 against South Africa in a tough chase.
New Zealand’s bowling will mostly be dependent on Trent Boult (8 wickets) and Lockie Ferguson (14 wickets) while Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner will look to do a good containing job in the middle.
Australia, though, will be looking for their openers – David Warner (447 runs in 6 innings) and captain Aaron Finch (396 runs in 6 innings) – to dominate again. If they fail, then they will have to depend on Usman Khwaja who is fresh from a well-made 89 against Bangladesh and Glen Maxwell, whose rampant 10-ball 32 in the same match helped Australia surge.
Australia’s bowling hasn’t been at its best in this World Cup, and they conceded 333 runs against Bangladesh. Mitchell Starc (15 wickets) and Pat Cummins (11 wickets) have been their main strike bowlers this time. But the others like leg-spinner Adam Zampa and seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile haven’t been at their best.
Australia’s weakness in bowling is one area that New Zealand can exploit, and that might end up deciding the game.
Pitch Conditions and New Zealand vs Australia Prediction:
The pitch at Lord’s is expected to be accurate; with both the batsmen and bowlers having their say. In the first innings of the World Cup 2019 at Lord’s, Pakistan managed to post an impressive 307-6 against South Africa on batting first.
Hence, one can expect a score of 280+ by the team batting first in this game. Both Australia and New Zealand are good and in form. But New Zealand looks to be shaping up nicely at the moment and might trump Australia in this exciting encounter.