England and New Zealand were engaged in the greatest match of this year – the final of the World Cup 2019- which will now also be regarded as perhaps one of the greatest ODIs of all time. While the match ended in a thrilling tie, England won the final courtesy the boundary count rule.
After all that drama, thrill and heartbreak, the two teams will be facing-off for the first time when England tour New Zealand for a 5-match T20I series beginning on November 1.
In the last 5 T20Is between the two sides, England has won 3 while New Zealand has won 2 games. In fact, New Zealand and England have squared off 15 times in T20Is and England has emerged victorious a whopping 10 times. It would be fair to say England enjoys a fair advantage over New Zealand in this format.
The ODI world champions are also very good at T20 cricket and captain Eoin Morgan has a young and talented T20I team at his disposal. The batting unit has some exciting and fresh names like Tom Banton and Dawid Malan. However, the biggest impact-makers are likely to be captain Morgan and Jonny Bairstow.
England’s bowling looks good with the likes of Tom Curran and Chris Jordan being the seamers to watch out for. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid will certainly have an important role and may prove crucial.
New Zealand, meanwhile, will be pretty confident too as they are playing at home. Kane Williamson is likely to be back as the captain of the side and would be the rock of the batting unit. Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Bruce are the other batsmen to watch out for in this game.
New Zealand’s bowling is pretty sorted for their home conditions. Tim Southee led the attack perfectly in Sri Lanka recently and would be eager to deliver in this game. The slow seam bowling of Colin de Grandhomme might come useful too. The impressive Trent Boult should be back in the squad and would be raring to go. From the spinners, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, only one is expected to play and either can have an equally significant impact on the game.
Match prediction – New Zealand vs England, 1st T20I:
This will be the first T20I played at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch. So far, the wicket on this venue has behaved exactly like a typical New Zealand pitch. It will be interesting to see how the pitch behaves in the first T20I between New Zealand and England.
The team batting first should get a score in the range of 170-180. The combined total by both the teams in this match should be in the range of 320-340.
While England has enjoyed an edge over New Zealand in T20Is, it looks like things will be different in this first game at least. New Zealand are playing at home and have a stronger side than England’s, which appears to be a little inexperienced and missing key players. New Zealand should hence be the winners of this contest.