T20 World Cup: All on the line as England and New Zealand meet 2 years on from that final - Kashmir Sports Watch  

T20 World Cup: All on the line as England and New Zealand meet 2 years on from that final

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T20 World Cup: All on the line as England and New Zealand meet 2 years on from that final. File pic of Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson /ICC
T20 World Cup: All on the line as England and New Zealand meet 2 years on from that final. File pic of Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson /ICC

Dubai, November 10: When England last met New Zealand in an ICC white-ball tournament, there was little to separate the two teams after 50+1 overs each. England claimed the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 title only by the barest of margins in that match at Lord’s.

Since then, New Zealand have insisted that that heartbreak is behind them. They have gone on to lift the ICC World Test Championship trophy, and come into this encounter with personnel who weren’t in the middle for that Lord’s match and don’t carry those scars. For the team, this tournament is simply another chance to be rewarded with some silverware for the quality and consistency they have maintained across formats in the past few years.

The two teams are similar in that they are led by canny, inspirational captains, who ensure the team is greater than the sum of its parts and take pride in playing positive cricket. But where England’s aggression plays out primarily through their batting, with players willing to take risks and hit sixes all the way down the order, New Zealand’s aggression is more controlled, and driven by their bowling.

New Zealand’s bowling attack has proved to be one of the best balanced in the competition. In Trent Boult they have a solid left-arm pacer who can swing the ball, a right-arm quick in Tim Southee, someone who can bang the ball in at pace like Adam Milne, a left-arm spinner who dries up the runs in Mitchell Santner, a wicket-taking leg-spinner in Ish Sodhi, and an all-rounder in Jimmy Neesham who can take pace off the ball. They are an in-form attack who have quickly adjusted to the different conditions at each venue, and are expertly rotated during a game by captain Kane Williamson.

All on the line as England and New Zealand meet two years on from that final

When England last met New Zealand in an ICC white-ball tournament, there was little to separate the two teams after 50+1 overs each. England claimed the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 title only by the barest of margins in that match at Lord’s.

Since then, New Zealand have insisted that that heartbreak is behind them. They have gone on to lift the ICC World Test Championship trophy, and come into this encounter with personnel who weren’t in the middle for that Lord’s match and don’t carry those scars. For the team, this tournament is simply another chance to be rewarded with some silverware for the quality and consistency they have maintained across formats in the past few years.

The two teams are similar in that they are led by canny, inspirational captains, who ensure the team is greater than the sum of its parts and take pride in playing positive cricket. But where England’s aggression plays out primarily through their batting, with players willing to take risks and hit sixes all the way down the order, New Zealand’s aggression is more controlled, and driven by their bowling.

New Zealand’s bowling attack has proved to be one of the best balanced in the competition. In Trent Boult they have a solid left-arm pacer who can swing the ball, a right-arm quick in Tim Southee, someone who can bang the ball in at pace like Adam Milne, a left-arm spinner who dries up the runs in Mitchell Santner, a wicket-taking leg-spinner in Ish Sodhi, and an all-rounder in Jimmy Neesham who can take pace off the ball. They are an in-form attack who have quickly adjusted to the different conditions at each venue, and are expertly rotated during a game by captain Kane Williamson.

Their biggest challenge will be to adjust to the evening conditions at Abu Dhabi. Having played their last three games in the afternoon, their plans will have to account for the possibility of dew.

England, meanwhile, have unfinished business in the tournament. Last time’s runners-up are ranked No.1 in the world, with their big-hitting batters and reliance on match-ups defining their successful approach.

However, their hopes were hit by an injury to Jason Roy, who pulled up with a calf injury during their final Super 12 game. Roy has since been ruled out of the tournament with James Vince drafted into the squad as a replacement. Having lost Tymal Mills to injury as well, and with stars like Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer ruled out before the tournament itself, one wonders if Roy’s injury will prove to be one too far for England.

“He’s a guy who epitomises everything that we are about in the changing room and in the way that we play,” captain Eoin Morgan had said of Roy after his injury. Morgan’s big challenge now will be to rebalance the side for this crucial knockout game.

The teams have met 21 times in the format so far, with England having the edge with 12 wins to New Zealand’s seven. The last time the teams met in a bilateral T20I series, they were locked 2-2 and tied in the final game before England again won the Super Over.

Given the history between these teams, it is perhaps relevant to note that the playing conditions for the tournament now allow for unlimited Super Overs until there is a clear winner.

Courtesy ICC T20 World Cup

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