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Thursday, December 12, 2019

World Cup 2019: Battle of contrasts as England, New Zealand vie for maiden title

England and New Zealand have had contrasting World Cup campaigns, even having contrasting results in the semifinal. The contrasts is also summed up by the contrasting leadership styles of Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 14, 2019 2:16:07 pm
England beat New Zealand by 119 runs when the two teams met in the World Cup group stage on July 3 (Reuters/File Photo)

England and New Zealand will face off in a historic battle for the World Cup crown at Lord’s in London on Sunday. Neither team have won the title before this, and so a new nation is set to be world champions. This will also be the first final since the 1992 World Cup not involving Australia or India.

The World Cup title had never been won by the host nation before 2011, but has been won by hosts India and Australia in the last two editions, a pattern which favours England.

ENG vs NZ Live Score, Updates

Team News: England and New Zealand have had contrasting World Cup campaigns, even having contrasting results in the semifinal. While New Zealand outwitted India in a high-pressure low-scoring thriller, England rode all over Australia.

The contrasts in the two teams is also summed up by the contrasting leadership styles of Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan. Williamson’s team have followed the maxim of maximum utilization of resources, while Morgan’s men have followed the maxim of ruthless cricket.

Jason Roy’s availability will be a big relief for the hosts, who have looked like a much stronger batting unit with him at the top.

Pitch and Conditions: The Lord’s pitch has favoured the team batting first throughout this World Cup, and the team winning the toss on Sunday can be expected to go the same way. England have looked like a dangerous side when batting first. In three of the four matches here in this World Cup, the side batting second has been bowled out.

This World Cup has created a record for having the most washed out matches, but rain is predicted to stay away from Sunday’s final. Bright sunshine is forecast in the morning. Clouds are expected in the afternoon, as is an increase in wind speed, which could assist bowlers.

Key Players: Jason Roy has been the X-factor for England throughout this World Cup. If he fires, the rest of the batting unit play with a lot of freedom. Joe Root is England’s highest scorer and he may cross Rohit Sharma as the highest run-getter in this World Cup if he scores a century.

New Zealand’s batting has been overdependent on Kane Williamson, with Ross Taylor the only batsman who has been consistently providing him support. Williamson also needs a century to become the leading run-getter.

Both pace attacks have consistently delivered, with different bowlers raising their hands in different matches. Incidentally, both pace attacks have taken a combined 49 wickets each.

Recent Form: New Zealand enjoyed a long unbeaten run at the beginning of the tournament but saw their form dip in the latter stages of round-robin competition. They were the last team to secure a place in the top four but managed to edge India to the final.

England were in danger of not qualifying for the knockout stages but pulled up their socks when it mattered. Consecutive losses to Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stage had put their campaign in peril but they have thrashed India, New Zealand and Australia since then to go into the final with form on their side.

Predicted XIs

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali/Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

New Zealand: Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

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