It is the summit clash – hosts England play the Blackcaps one of those teams that didn’t come in with the favourites tag. They beat their opponents in key clashes to earn the right to play for the cup at Lord’s. Most experts and even fans are busy predicting the team they think has the best chance to win the title. Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar also made his guess.
His basic instinct is that the home team will enter the contest as favourites given the cricket they’ve played not just in this tournament but in the last couple of years. Shoaib thinks both teams will want to post a big total on the board and that is the key to success. For the New Zealanders to do well their out of form openers need to come good.
Both Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls have been out of form. While Guptill scored a fifty in the first match of the tournament and has been off-colour since Nicholls has at times got off to decent starts but failed to convert. “If England wins the toss against New Zealand, they will score big runs against the Kiwis. It is important for Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls to give a solid foundation to the Kiwi lineup. I support New Zealand, but England will clearly go in as the favourites in the final,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
England firm favourites
It is for the Kiwis to do the improbable to beat England. While Eoin Morgan’s side looks all set to lift the trophy at the Home of Cricket.
“Pressure plays a big role in big matches. England is a big team. I think they will create history at Lord’s by winning their first ever 50-over World Cup. New Zealand needs to perform in all departments of the game. Guptill needs to score runs for New Zealand to give the team a solid base at the top,” Akhtar said.
While most English batsmen have runs under their belt, Jos Buttler who was considered to be the biggest threat in that line-up has failed. Shoaib thinks it is time for him to come good and there will be no bigger occasion.
“Jos Buttler should bat at top of the order, and if he gets the opportunity he will score big runs for the team. I hope for a thrilling match, it would be disappointing to see a batting collapse in the finals,” he added.
Here is the video:
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