While England were finding out just exactly what it’s like to be a cricketing laughing stock again, New Zealand were enjoying a rejuvenation under Brendon McCullum. That trend will continue when the pair meet in the World T20.
This has been a tumultuous time for the English willow and leather lovers, with Stuart Broad’s side winning just four of their last 13 T20 fixtures. It hasn’t just been woe in the shortest form of the game either, with life in any form taking a serious turn for the worse since the Ashes.
In the meantime, NZ have sent India packing in both Tests and ODIs and have always possessed the type of muscular batting to make them a force in the hustle and bustle of T20s.
As such, it’s no surprise to see the Kiwis as the 8/11 favourites to win this Group 1 clash, with England 11/10 shots for victory.
Preparation hasn’t been ideal for Broad’s men with both form and injuries diminishing their confidence and disrupting their flow.
The power-hitting required for this form of the game is distinctly absent now Ben Stokes and Luke Wright have joined Joe Root in the physio room, while the ghost of KP still looms large over the side.
Having lost both warm up matches, to West Indies and India, pretty convincingly, England have form that betters only Bangladesh among their Test-playing peers to try to overcome.
That’ll be extremely difficult considering they are without the type of glamorous spin bowling that is expected to be the match-winning cog in the wheel at this tournament.
That doesn’t stop them with opening up with the likes of Moeen Ali and James Treadwell though, and with Kane Williamson – who is as adept at playing the turning ball as anyone in the world – opening the New Zealand batting, that makes the 5/6 on the Black Cap scoring over 18.5 runs look a tasty treat.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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