The New Zealand tour of England concludes on Friday when the two sides head to Lord’s, the venue of their most famous meeting in recent times, for the fourth and final ODI of what has been a disappointing series to date.
England now lead 2-1 after demolishing New Zealand at The Oval and it will be interesting to see if the Kiwis have it in them to come from behind to level the series for the second white ball series in succession having done the same in the T20s.
When you consider how easily England lost the opening match of this ODI series, they deserve a lot of credit for coming back with two emphatic victories to ensure they won’t be losing the series. This series has never really been the overall priority for England, they are more intent on preparing for the World Cup next month, but if they can head off to India having won a series against a potential challenger in that tournament it will do their confidence no harm.
We finally got a true out and out good performance from England with the bat at The Oval. Their lower order went well in the first win in Southampton but the top order started proceedings at The Oval and at no stage did that relent. The score they put up always looked too much for New Zealand but England took a few early poles just to ensure they would come out on top in that contest. They’ll be looking for a repeat of that showing here.
Having come roaring back to level the T20 series from 2-0 down and then won the first ODI in equally convincing fashion, it has all gone wrong for New Zealand since then and they’ll be looking to depart the English shores with a better performance even if it ultimately isn’t good enough to win the match. New Zealand head to Bangladesh after this series so their World Cup preparation isn’t finished but they’ll leave with a sour taste in their mouth if they are thrashed again.
I would imagine the venue of this final game of the series will inspire New Zealand to come up with a performance because a lot of this squad will still be carrying the bad memories of the World Cup final on this ground four years ago. The Kiwis need some top order runs and they also need a spinner who can at least stem the flow of runs in the middle order for England else this is going to be another long day at the office.
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We still haven’t seen Jason Roy or Mark Wood in this series and concern is starting to mount over the fitness of both. Adil Rashid has been ruled out of the series too so Moeen Ali is expected to keep his place in the side. Brydon Carse will be eyeing up a game too.
New Zealand will be hoping to have Mitchell Santner back for this match after he missed the last one. He might come back in for Ben Lister rather than Rachin Ravindra after the dry weather and the hot temperatures expected on Friday.
Daryl Mitchell has had time in his career at Middlesex and he spent The Hundred this year playing with Lord’s as his home ground for the London Spirit and so I expect him to know all about what I’m expecting to be something of a flat pitch here. Mitchell started the series in excellent form with that brilliant hundred in Cardiff and he added 50 in a losing effort in Southampton before a quiet night at the office across the river on Wednesday.
He also had a decent series in The Hundred so he is a player in form and we only have to think back to last summer when New Zealand were on these shores to know that this is a man who likes filling his boots against England. There isn’t going to be any Adil Rashid so there is no mystery spin for Mitchell to worry about here and in a position in the order where he gets time to play himself in I’m expecting him to go beyond his run line of 26.5 here.
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