Cricket 3 years ago

Preview: England Vs New Zealand - 5th ODI

  • Preview: England Vs New Zealand - 5th ODI

How do you win in a battle of the behemoths? There are ways aplenty, but one of them - the one England chose - is to ease past 350 in 44 overs with seven wickets in hand and leave Brendon McCullum - the greatest human on the planet  (after Andrea Pirlo) - dumbfounded on what was perhaps one of the greatest nights in English Cricket history.

It has all come down to the 5th ODI at Chester-Le Street then (Emirates Durham ICG) now as we head towards the end of a series where spankings have been a familiar sight. With Durham expected to be "another" good batting surface, one can only expect another cracker, maybe something better than that. 


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England have played well throughout an ODI series for the first time since July 1670, and to not win the series hence would be disappointing while being a real shame for the ones who have put all those efforts in. The key would be not letting the pressure of winning the series get to the the players for England, because if that happens, they will wilt and gift the series away to New Zealand.

Also, just as it is important to play with a carefree attitude, so it is for England to bowl better at the death and get the yorkers right rather than being dreadful at the back end as they generally have been. No matter how much of a roll you have been or or what kind of a form are you in, chasing any total in excess of 350 twice in a row isn't what you want, especially in a series decider. Ben Stokes and Mark Wood - the local boys - do know the Durham pitch better than anyone and their impact could be "huge" henceforth with that ball in hand. 

Line-up: England would like to field the same XI that played at Trent Bridge, mainly because bringing in a debutant in a series decided isn't a very wise thing to do. 

New Zealand

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have almost single-handedly won matches for New Zealand, and though their form is crucial to New Zealand's chances, it is the runs other batsmen in the team make that could win the game and the series for the Black Caps. Williamson and Taylor - at current form - will score runs anyway, but if McCullum, Guptill, Ronchi and Elliott fail to make meaningful contributions, they are more likely to end up staring Eoin Morgan lift the trophy. 

Again, New Zealand need at least one bowler to bowl a good spell to contain England to some sort because even that can make a difference as we saw in the previous game when Mark Wood and Steven Finn's 20 overs proved out to be match-winning. Baz can look up to Tim Southee and Matt Henry - their best bowlers - to step up on the big occasion for obvious reasons. Remember, McClenaghan, Santner and Wheeler would take a battering anyway. 

Line-up: New Zealand don't have any option rather than fielding the same XI, so don't expect a new face. 

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