A disastrous World Cup campaign has left England’s one-day international side looking vastly different as Eoin Morgan regains the reins for the five-match series against New Zealand, starting with Tuesday’s tussle at Edgbaston.
Half of the 14-man squad called up to take on Brendon McCullum’s swashbucklers were not involved in the shambles Down Under, while a new coach will fill the spot once occupied by Peter Moores once this series concludes.
Trevor Bayliss has reportedly had significant input in selecting the squad and has had numerous messages passed to them via interim head coach Paul Farbrace.
That it is the Kiwis that oppose Morgan’s men in their first tentative steps back into 50-over cricket since Bangladesh sent them home early from the World Cup is fitting.
It was the brute force of the co-hosts that so clearly demonstrated the gulf in class between England and the modern-day ODI side last February, as they were skittled for 123 before being bludgeoned to all in a chase that was finished by the 13th over.
That brutality, which New Zealand displayed throughout the tournament as they finished runners-up to Australia, has ushered a host of new faces into the English set up, while the Black Caps have largely remained the same.
McCullum, New Zealand’s pulse-racing skipper, is the 9/1 favourite to claim man of the match honours, while Tim Southee, who took 7-33 in that World Cup encounter, is 3/1 to be his side’s top wicket taker in the game.
Two Englishmen stand the best chance of beating McCullum to the oversized check, according to Ladbrokes’ odds, with Alex Hales and Joe Root priced at 10/1.
It’s the 20/1 available on Jos Buttler, the wicket-keeper batsman, that most appeals from the hosts’ perspective in that market, however.
The Lancashire man is fresh from guiding his county to a thrilling last-ball Roses triumph over Yorkshire in the T20 blast at the weekend and will be the man to spearhead any new aggressive England approach in the ODI arena.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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