"When 300 is being scored with sheer ease, you know England are playing New Zealand" - that's what they say these days. It's startling, isn't it? Turn back the clock and you find England being whalloped at The Cake Tin by the Black Caps; come back into the present and you find contests as hardly fought as these.
The third ODI at Southampton was another such game where none of the teams was ready to play any way other than attacking. Having motored to 302 in just 45 overs with the help of half-centuries from Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes, plus a cameo from Sam Billings who showed signs of being a superstar for the first time in an England shirt, Morgan and co. showed no signs of the "old England". 302, however, was always going to be tough to defend on that Southampton surface and Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor's hundreds showed why.
It's time for the fourth ODI now, and leading the series 2-1 are New Zealand - who would surely want to wrap it up at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, to avoid a "final" at Chester-Le Street.
As was warned , England had to play with some sort of responsibility or risk giving NZ the lead in the series. They were 190/3 around the 30-over mark and 350 should have been achieved, but instead, the reluctance to slow down a bit and attack all the time did cost them the match. Again, you can't criticise the home side for being aggressive, but yes, England can be advised to bring about balance - the successful accomplishment of which will make the Three Lions achieve the desired results.
Also, England need their openers to be more consistent. Jason Roy and Alex Hales came into the side with a lot expected of them, but they have failed to live up to the expectations so far which quite clearly would be taken the advantage of by New Zealand at Trent Bridge, which one would expect won't be as kind to batsmen as other grounds have been.
Line-up: Chris Jordan has had enough chances this series and it's time for either of the Overton brothers to come into the side, may be both of them considering their heroics at the very venue of the fourth ODI some days ago. Watch out, Steven Finn.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is a dangerous game, isn't it Brendon McCullum? Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor apart, there doesn't seem to be one batsman in some kind of form and that is what is the biggest of all worries for the Kiwis. Baz, Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi, Grant Elliott (and co.) have all been a touch disappointing in the series and while all this hasn't stopped McCullum's troop thus far, it could at Trent Bridge.
Mitchell McClenaghan is another man who would worry Mike Hesson to a certain degree. Mitchell was obviously expected to be a success this series considering the form he had come into the side in, but instead, it has been a grim run for him. To get to face an out of form bowler at Nottingham is of course a bonus, and hence McClenaghan would want to get things right.
Line-up: Expect New Zealand to field the same XI.