New Zealand have a more established side compared to England © Getty Images
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Mar 21, 2014
England and New Zealand open their ICC World T20 2014 campaign when they clash at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhary Stadium, Chittagong on Saturday. Both sides come into this game with defeats in their respective warm-up games. England have a relatively new setup as some of their players have made their international debut only during the last few months. In comparison, New Zealand have a more established side with some good match-winning players.
New Zealand will bank on the likes of Ross Taylor, skipper Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill in the batting. These are the three players who can leave an impact on the game. Taylor and McCullum are genuine match-winners. When on song, they can clear the ground with ease. Guptill is more of an anchor at the top and can change the pace of the game as the innings moves along. This trio has a lot of the responsibility on their shoulders if New Zealand have to score big.
At the same time, they would also bank on someone like Corey Anderson. Since his fastest ton at the beginning of the year, his cricketing stakes have soared and he is being marked as a danger man in the ranks. Plus, they have Luke Ronchi, who can also add some quick runs. If need be, he can also open the batting. However, it looks like they may prefer Kane Williamson to open the batting with Guptill, going by their strategy in the warm-up games.
New Zealand have Nathan McCullum leading them with his spinning duties. Ronnie Hira is a side and may come into the equation if there are turning wickets. In Mitchell McClenaghan, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, New Zealand have numerous choices to pick from and it isn’t going to be easy.
England would hope Stuart Broad is 100 percent as they need their skipper. He did bowl a few overs against India in the warm-up. However, Eoin Morgan led them in both the games and they would want Broad to be ready.
If one looks at England’s batting, three players are of vital importance: Michael Lumb, Alex Hales and Morgan. Lumb and Hales form attacking partnership at the top and one can expect them to take the attack soon. Morgan is that mainstay in the middle who can turn the game with his inventive strokeplay. They might want to consider Luke Wright, who is a renowned T20 player and has the ability to hit it big.
Ravi Bopara is another player who has to rise to the occasion and contribute. Moeen Ali may just sneak into the eleven given his encouraging displays. Jos Buttler is a destructive option down the order.
In the bowling, James Tredwell is the key. The wickets may just suit him and he has this knack of taking wickets. The fast-bowlers would have to support him though. Chris Jordan, Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan have a crucial role if they make it into the eleven.
Since both teams lost their warm-ups, it isn’t very easy to judge them on current form. But, on pure strength, New Zealand may just hold the advantage over England.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Colin Munro, Ronnie Hira, Nathan McCullum, Luke Ronchi (wk), Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Jimmy Neesham.
England: Stuart Broad (c), Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Joss Buttler (wk), Luke Wright, James Tredwell, Stephen Parry, Chris Jordan, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan, Chris Woakes, Ian Bell.
Time: 19:00 IST | 13:30 GMT
ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings
ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)