We now have our lineup for the ICC Cricket World Cup Final on Sunday, and you can be sure that Lord’s Cricket ground will play host to a spectacle between two sides that have yet to take home the title in this tournament.
With New Zealand having turned the tide on the Reserve Day to beat India, and England having shocked the favourites Australia with an 8-wicket win, the stage is set for a new ODI World Champion.
While England are the favourites to win on their home turf – you can check out all of the odds on the final using the 22bet promo code – New Zealand have a crafty bowling line up which could do damage to the English batsmen, it’s going to be a close match-up! To get an idea of how the final might play out, let’s take a look at the men that could be the difference for each side.
While England have had their share of disappointments during this World Cup – notably defeats to Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the group stages – they look a different side to the one that couldn’t make it out of the group in the 2015 World Cup.
Under the guidance of captain Eoin Morgan, England have changed their ODI fortunes and have secured a well-earned place in this year’s final. England are known in particular for their strong batting line up, and winning the toss could be key for their title hopes. There’s been plenty of talk surrounding the English opening pair – Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow – who have gone from strength to strength in this tournament.
Roy missed out at the start of the tournament after suffering from a hamstring injury against the West Indies, but has still knocked 426 runs over the course of the tournament – including 85 from 65 balls against Australia in the Semis before he was controversially dismissed in the 19th over.
Bairstow’s tournament has been a mixed bag – two golden ducks against Sri Lanka and South Africa were followed by consecutive centuries and man of the match performances against New Zealand and India. We know how good he can be at picking boundaries, as long as his head is in the game on Sunday.
England’s batting line up goes beyond just their openers – test captain Joe Root sits at fourth in the ‘Most Runs’ table for the tournament with a total of 549 runs in this World Cup campaign, while Morgan, wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes can also rack up the team total if needs be.
England showed just how good their bowlers are against Australia, with Jofra Archer and man of the match Chris Woakes taking two and three wickets respectively. The Kiwis are better known for their bowling than their batting, so if the English bowlers can restrict them to a low total it could be England’s game to lose.
It’s all in the bowling for New Zealand, and putting a stop the English batting firepower will likely be key for them on Sunday. This was the case against India in the Semis, with world n0.2 ODI bowler Trent Boult taking two wickets and man of the match Matt Henry taking three.
Both bowlers failed to limit the likes of Jonny Bairstow (who scored 106 off 99 balls) in the group stage, but it was Boult and Henry who took the key wickets of Root, Buttler, Bairstow and Morgan in that game.
Not only that, but the Kiwis also have further quality amongst their bowling ranks in the likes of Mitchell Santner, James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme. In terms of batting, it will be up to the opening pair of Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls to get New Zealand off to a steady start against the English bowlers, while captain Kane Williamson will also be expected to put in a good knock – he sits just behind Joe Root in fifth for most runs in the tournament with 548 scored from his nine games.