England levelled up the ODI series with New Zealand in midweek which means that the third ODI in Wellington on Saturday is a massive game for both sides in the context of the overall picture.
Whoever wins the match know they will go one up with two to play so they will have complete control of the series which should mean that we get a competitive match just like we did when these two first did battle.
I don’t think New Zealand will need to look too far into what went wrong for them in the second match in Mount Maunganui earlier in the week. They batted dismally and you can always tell when a side have lost their head with the bat by the number of run outs they are a part of. New Zealand lost four wickets to run outs which is just inexcusable.
They will know that if they are going to win this match and then go on and win the series they need to bat a lot better. One reason for the poor showing could be that they were missing their captain in that match while another could be the pressure they were under for the second straight time having lost two wickets early. Either way it is something they need to rectify.
While New Zealand have things to improve and rectify I think England will be pretty happy with their showings so far in the series. They have batted well twice despite not always getting the starts they will have wanted and in the main they have bowled well. In the first match they ran into an insane performance from Mitchell Santner but they were ruthless in the second game.
If there is something that England will be looking for in this match it would be if they bat first to pile up a really significant score. That is something they haven’t done since the Champions Trophy and as they build towards the World Cup they will be looking to get back to those brutal batting performances. Their bowlers could do with plenty of runs to defend too.
Kane Williamson missed the second match of the series for New Zealand but he has been passed fit to play although Ross Taylor will miss out here. That means Mark Chapman is likely to stay in the side for his second ODI.
England have confirmed that they have Jonny Bairstow available for this one. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether that is a good thing. Mark Wood is fit too and could come in for Curran or Willey if England want to change a winning side.
This will be the 30th ODI to be held at the ground that is known as the ‘Cake Tin’. New Zealand have 16 wins and nine defeats with a couple of no results from their 27 matches on this ground. England have played four matches here and lost the lot and if you add their scores up in those matches you still wouldn’t get a decent score!
The wicket here can be known to do a pitch and it rarely looks the best. That is offset with short boundaries which can make the scoring higher than it might be if this pitch was anywhere else in the world so it is tricky to know what to expect here.
I’ll go with two bets here. The first is one that I’ve been on throughout the series and am happy to be on again which is England to hit the most sixes. So far in the series England have won the six battle 9-5 and 8-3 so they have plenty in hand. When you think Taylor is out with injury here that is a hitter in the New Zealand ranks who has gone which should see England hitting the most sixes for the third time in succession.
The other bet I like is for Jos Buttler to be the top England batsman. Buttler has looked very good in this series so far and this ground is nothing like big enough for him when he cuts loose. New Zealand have the edge on England’s top order which can bring the keeper-batsman right into play.
Back England Most 6s for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with Betfred
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Back J.Buttler Top England Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with William Hill