The Trans-Tasman Tri Series has switched from Australia to New Zealand with the next match taking place in Wellington on Tuesday. Australia are in the final already and on Tuesday one of New Zealand or England will take a huge step to get there too.
The match is a bigger one for England than it is New Zealand. Both sides go into the match without a win in the series thus far but New Zealand have played a match less than their visitors so a win for them would put one foot in the final.
The Kiwis were well beaten in their opening match in this tournament which followed on from back-to-back losses against Pakistan so they will be wanting to win here not just to make them favourites to make it into the final but also for their own peace of mind and confidence which might be low after three defeats.
One of the problems they have is a great deal of inexperience with the bat outside their top three or four so if they don’t get off to a good start then it can be hard to rebuild, as we saw in that first match of the series. The one area where they have few concerns are with the ball where the depth of their resources is quite strong.
I would imagine England will be disappointed with their showings in Australia. They should have won the first match but it was their own fault that they didn’t with a batting collapse and a key dropped catch but in the second one they never truly got going with the bat and as a result they came up miles short.
That batting is a big problem because it is usually their strength and while we must accept they are missing some key players with the willow the quality they have displayed has been poor. On the flip side they have not been too far away with the ball so if they can put a complete batting performance together they will fancy their chances here.
New Zealand have a doubt over their captain Kane Williamson although he is expected to play. Tom Bruce and Tom Blundell have been released from the squad with Mark Chapman and Tim Seifert coming in to make debuts.
England look set to be without their captain Eoin Morgan for this match so Jos Buttler will skipper the side again. On a small ground having just gone the distance Liam Dawson might be an option England can ill afford.
You expect matches in New Zealand to be high scoring and full of sixes but I’m not so sure this one will be because I think both bowling attacks, especially with the new ball, are playing the better cricket at the minute.
Both sides are lacking power in their middle and lower order, the odd exception such as Ross Taylor and Jos Buttler excepted, which means that if the new ball can do damage for both sides then while the runs might come along at some point the sixes may not. New Zealand don’t really have many big hitters anyway and England’s seamers don’t go for many sixes.
There are some pictures doing the round which don’t make the pitch look all that flattering. There has been rain in the run up to the game so the pitch might have plenty in it which will help the bowlers. With all that in mind under 11.5 sixes can be expected to land here.
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