It’s England vs New Zealand time in an ICC tournament once again. The 2022 T20 World Cup is the newest host of a fixture that has been thrust into immortality courtesy of the 2019 World Cup final, with the latest installment to take place at the Gabba on Tuesday, November 1.
The stakes may not be as high this time around, but they’re high nonetheless. England, if they win, will be ahead of Australia on net run rate. If they win convincingly enough, something that seems highly unlikely given the two teams’ recent form, they may even put themselves at the top of the Group 1 table of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
New Zealand, on the other hand, already have one foot in the semi-finals. With comprehensive wins over Australia and Sri Lanka to go with their washout against Afghanistan, the Kiwis are sitting pretty at the Group 1 summit. Up against a team that lost to Ireland and haven’t found their feet yet in the tournament, Kane Williamson and Co. will be quietly confident of securing two more points.
The last meeting between the two sides, also their only meeting in the last two years, was in the semi-finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup. Chasing 167, the Black Caps needed a 40-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham in just under three overs to take them over the line with an over to spare.
Both teams wear fairly similar looks this time around, although there has been a captaincy shift in England and a few batting-order modifications here and there. Can Jos Buttler do what his predecessor couldn’t and beat New Zealand in the T20 World Cup? Or will the Kiwis step up their game once again?
It’s no secret that Finn Allen loves pace on the ball, something Sri Lanka refused to give him with the early introduction of Maheesh Theekshana. But do England have someone who can curb the attacking instincts of the dynamic Kiwi opener? Moeen Ali might not want to bowl to the right-hander in the powerplay, and their primary swing bowler, Chris Woakes, hasn’t had a great T20 World Cup thus far.
New Zealand needed an innings of a lifetime from Glenn Phillips to revive them after a top-order collapse, and their middle order doesn’t look all too threatening. Nor does Ish Sodhi, who has delivered at least two long hops in each over he has bowled in the tournament.
England haven’t gotten the best out of their batting department, which packs power to the brim. With big names like Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone batting in the lower-middle order, Jos Buttler and Co. have the license to go big at the top but haven’t switched gears yet. Their task won’t be easy against Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who’ve done well in the Super 12 stage, but it might just be time for them to come together as a unit.
New Zealand have looked good in the T20 World Cup, but England are simply the better team on paper. Even if their performances haven’t suggested it yet, the Three Lions are one of the best T20I sides in the world and could be backed to collect two points on Tuesday.
ENG vs NZ Match Prediction: England to win today
Poll : Who will win on Tuesday?
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