Cricket 3 years ago

Preview: England Vs New Zealand - 3rd ODI

  • Preview: England Vs New Zealand - 3rd ODI

You couldn't simply have written a script like this - 763 runs on a mad day at The Kia Oval was well and truly gobsmacking. It's almost as if what you expect is a run fest, and what you actually get is a sabotage. New Zealand begun the second ODI in typical fashion founding the ropes more often than not, and just when you thought they might slow down a bit, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor put up a batting masterclass eventually making 398 look a total they achieved without any difficulty at all.

England then began their reply in similar style as Jason Roy and Alex Hales got their team off to quite a start, before losing their way in the middle (not with the run rate though), then terrifying New Zealand with as good a stroke-play as you'll ever see before rain arrived and D/L doing what it does best to prevent a potential England win. Take nothing away from New Zealand, however; they batted beautifully, with the fielding and bowling being slightly better and hence a deserved (and earned) victory.

The Royal London One-Day Series now moves on to The Ageas Bowl in Southampton - the venue where the memories of Martin Guptill's 189* against England in a three match ODI series in 2013, are still fresh. Quite obviously, yet another run barrage is expected considering the shorter boundaries and the surface at The Ageas Bowl. "Brace yourselves". 

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England might consider themselves unfortunate to have lost the 2nd ODI despite scoring 365/9 because you generally win if you manage to score those many runs in either side of the innings. But that's all in the past and the Englishmen have got to move ahead very quickly if they are take the lead back in a series where both the teams seem to be getting better and better. Going forward, England have just got to play the way they are, but with a little bit of responsibility as well. Responsibility here doesn't mean starting to defend or to change their style of play, but avoiding mindless swings of the willow or slog sweeps when there's no need. New Zealand were a touch irresponsible as well in their pursuit of 409 a couple of nights ago, but they changed that quickly, and played with additional responsibility. England can emulate them too.

As for the bowling department, it's those yorkers England need to concentrate more on. We did see just how bad the bowlers were at the back end of the innings with not a yorker in sight. NZ could have crossed 320 anyway even if more yorkers would have been bowled, but at least they won't have finished on 398 had the death bowling been better than it actually was. Southampton could prove to be a graveyard for bowlers yet again, and it is the use of a "yorker" that could restrict the Black Caps to "some" sort.

Line-up: Sam Billings hasn't looked comfortable at all and Chris Jordan has been pretty ordinary too which may just open up the possibilities for Mark Wood and David Willey coming into the side. 

New Zealand 

New Zealand needed to put the horrors of Edgbaston away quickly, and put together a good all-round performance at The Kia Oval. Whereas you can't be so sure about an "all-round performance", the batting can be heaped praise upon as much as you like. The Kiwis batted with calmness and no real pressure, and almost breezed to 399. Coming into the 3rd ODI - just like England - the guests will have a few things to mull over, one of which is Brendon McCullum's lack of runs, the other being a vulnerable lower order as they might have realised. They would surely want to put these two things right - while hoping to see Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson continue their fine form - come the next one-day, especially after considering the requirements of a high total to beat this England side. 

New Zealand's bowling in particular has been particularly disappointing this series. Mitchell McClenaghan hasn't looked potent at all, Mitchell Santner hasn't been troublesome for England either and the same can be said about Nathan McCullum. Barring Tim Southee and Trent Boult, guests NZ surely would have to give their bowling line-up a thought. 

Line-up: Left-arm seamer Ben Wheeler and Matt Henry might come back into the side in place of Mitchell Santner and Mitchell McClenaghan, meaning Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill are the only spin options Brendon would have.

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