10 teams, 47 matches and several moments of magic. It all boils down to one game between England and New Zealand to decide who lifts the coveted trophy. New Zealand will hope to go one step further, having lost the 2015 World Cup finals to Australia. England will hope that their successful transformation will bear fruit. This transformation was inspired by New Zealand’s fearlessness and versatility during their successful tenure under Brendon McCullum.
Head to Head (In WCs)
New Zealand hold a 5-4 advantage over England in World Cup meetings. In Lord’s, New Zealand have come out on top in both their matches against England.
Both teams like to stick to a winning combination, meaning that they might go unchanged. A minor concern for England will be the form of Jos Buttler. Since his century against Pakistan, he has not got enough chances to prove his talents. He enjoys the big stage and will be raring to go.
New Zealand will hope that Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill put up a solid partnership. Opening has been a concern throughout the tournament for New Zealand. Nicholls will take a late fitness test after complaining of minor hamstring troubles. If he misses out, Colin Munro replace him.
England:- Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer
New Zealand:- Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
Read More – India vs New Zealand Semi Final Overview
Pitch and Conditions:-
The Lord’s pitch was exposed to the elements and was left uncovered. The pitch is covered with grass, which may be shaved off. If the grass is left , it will play to England’s weakness and New Zealand’s strength. England will want to avoid a repeat of their 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final performance against Pakistan on a green track, where they were bowled out for 211.
The weather forecast predicts some overnight rain, which may continue till morning. This may delay the start of the finals. There is no reserve day, which means that if the game is abandoned, both teams will share the trophy.
England will once again back their openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow to get them off to a flier. Trent Boult and Matt Henry will hope for some movement off the deck to get early wickets. Getting the English openers early will be on top of New Zealand’s agenda. The rest of the English middle order has shown weaknesses, which the Kiwis will hope to exploit.
Martin Guptill has had a dismal campaign. He will want to finish with a bang.
England’s pacers will look to pepper Kane Williamson with short balls and test his resolve. How he plays the pacers will dictate New Zealand’s batting.
With success a hair’s breadth away and the same measure deciding who dances under the confetti and who feels the crushing blow of a defeat in the finals, the players will look to shake off the jitters and put on a show. This might be the last World Cup for Ross Taylor and possibly Eoin Morgan as well. Can they end on a high?
This World Cup has made us expect the unexpected. One special performance can be the difference at the end. Both these teams have never won the World Cup before, meaning at the end of the game, a new name will be etched on the trophy.
Also published on Medium.