Two Teams, a World Cup Final and a new champion, that’s how Sunday is going to be. England has been into a World Cup finals three times before this one, and one of them was in 1979 at their home turf, yet they couldn’t win. Can they finally win? On the other hand, New Zealand will be playing its second World Cup Final, the first one was a nightmare for them, would be hoping to win this one and make the country proud.
England started the tournament with a bang; they beat South Africa in the opening game with their excellent display of all-round performance. They lost to Pakistan in the second game, but then dominated the next three opposition and was almost sure to reach the semis. A loss to Sri Lanka and then Australia made it difficult for them to qualify for the knock out stage, but the team drastically improved their game and won against India and New Zealand to book a place in the semi-final.
The English team displayed an extraordinary show against their arch-rivals Australia in the semi-final at Edgbaston. A lot has changed in this team since their early exit of World Cup 2015. They are favorites to win the title, and at Lord’s, it will be all blue on Sunday.
New Zealand has started the tournament exceptionally well, as they won three in three. Their fourth game against India washed out, but then again they won two in two, which secured their place in the semis. However, they started losing matches after that, first to Pakistan, then against Australia and England. This put them on the 4th number on the points table and had to face the number team of the World Cup, India.
In the semi-final, New Zealand won the match when everyone thought it would be a cakewalk for India. Their pacers derailed India’s top order and pulled the game in their favor. They are not favorite to win the title against the host nation but if they do it will a great thing for New Zealand cricket.
Players to watch out for
Jason Roy – The English opener has batted with a superb strike rate and destroyed all the bowling attacks of the tournament. If he plays well, England would be off to a flyer in the finals. A dream of every English fan to see them lifting the trophy would be a lot depending on how he starts the innings.
Kane Williamson – He needs to play the part of sheet-anchor in the middle overs as the openers are not able to give their best. He is also on the verge of breaking Tendulkar’s record of most runs in a single World Cup edition. His calm mind has won many games in the tournament. If he wins here, it will be a great tribute to his former Kiwi captain McCullum who led the team in 2015 final.
England v New Zealand in ODIs:
Overall: Matches 90, England Won 41, New Zealand Won 43, Tied 2 No Result 4
World Cup: Matches 9, England Won 4, New Zealand Won 5
Recent Form (most recent first): England W W W L L, New Zealand W L L L W
ICC Rankings: England (1), New Zealand (3)
Martin Guptill has scored 976 runs in World Cup and needs 24 to reach the 1,000 runs milestone.
Ross Taylor has scored 987 runs in World Cup and needs 13 more to reach the 1,000 runs milestone.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Cricket enthusiast, Tendulkar fan and a traveler !