Unlike India and Australia, who had lost just one game each in the main round of the 2019 World Cup, the journey for New Zealand and England has been a tad tougher. However, the Brits and the Black Caps overcame the hurdles and are now set for one final battle for glory at Lord’s – The Home of Cricket. The Kiwis soared above expectations after defending a modest 240 against an in-form Indian batting.
The Three Lions, on the other hand, stamped their authority versus Australia after being rolled over by the same opposition in the warm-up and the league stage. Going into the final showdown, Kane Williamson & Co would have at the back of their mind the 119-run defeat they suffered at the hands of the Englishmen. But bearing in mind their recent form, Eoin Morgan’s men can’t afford to undermine them by any means.
First and foremost, there are no chances of rain in tomorrow’s match. There will be clouds, hovering above, but it won’t result in a downpour. The sun will also be out during game time. The atmosphere will be pleasant with the temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. The humidity won’t be overly high with the numbers between the 50s and 70s.
The pitch is definitely going to suit the left-arm seamers due to the slope. The likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Jason Behrendorff, Trent Boult, Mitchell Starc, Shaheen Afridi and Mustafizur Rahman have taken advantage of the favourable conditions. The deck at Lord’s also favours the team, batting first with the winning margins being 49, 64, 86 and 94 runs in the four matches.
The Kiwis are yet to find the right opening combination. But Henry Nicholls, scoring 28 in the last match comes as some kind of a relief. Martin Guptill has pulled off some blinders in the outfield and now he’ll wish to take that confidence into his batting. It goes without saying that a lot will depend on skipper Williamson and Ross Taylor in the middle order. Tom Latham will also want to contribute.
James Neesham has delivered, having scored 213 runs and picked up 12 wickets. In the bowling department, Boult got a hat-trick versus the Aussies and he would want to put up a similar show with the slope in his favour. Lockie Ferguson has bowled with fire and has gotten 18 wickets. Matt Henry is high on confidence after his sterling show in the semis. Mitchell Santner needs to weave his magic as well.
Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
The Brits may not tinker with their winning combination. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are in awe-inspiring form and can’t be allowed to settle down. In fact, Roy hit three fifties after returning from injury. Joe Root has scored 549 and is a reliable figure in the lineup. Skipper Morgan has blown a tad hot and cold in the tournament, but the 45* he got in the last game would keep him good stead.
Even Ben Stokes hasn’t flattered to deceive with three scores in the 80s. Jos Buttler is due for a big knock as well. In the bowling department, Jofra Archer has been lethal with 19 wickets. Chris Woakes did exceptionally in the semis. Mark Wood has 13 wickets under his belt. Most importantly, Adil Rashid is getting back his rhythm. The tweaker got a three-for in the previous game.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local
The prediction is for England to win the match.
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