England v New Zealand: Top order to finally get going for champs
England are in dire need of some patience and composure at the top of the innings at the T20 World Cup and thankfully for captain Stuart Broad, this may finally materialise against New Zealand.
The two nations have identical records at the tournament to date, following up on an opening win with successive defeats.
Another loss here will leave one of the duo needing a miracle to progress to the semi finals and England are marginal favourites at 4/5.
The pair have also similarly struggled in the bowling department, especially in terms of seamers taking wickets and opposing spinners Graeme Swann and Daniel Vettori failing to generate much turn.
This could bode well for England, who have lost wickets in the opening over of all of their three games so far.
If Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales can score reasonably in the opening overs, this will reduce the pressure on the likes of Luke Wright and Jonny Bairstow further down the batting line-up.
If an opener gets out early, not only does this reduce the number of remaining wickets, but it also has a negative impact on the run rate, which England have taken time to build back up.
Kieswetter has two ducks in three innings, but may be the value call at 4/1 to be England’s top runscorer against New Zealand if told to calm down in his quest for boundaries.
Punters may be quick to jump on the Eoin Morgan bandwagon after his 71 from 36 balls almost secured England an unlikely win against the West Indies.
But Broad is refraining from pushing him up the order and if England do make a bright start, he may struggle to face enough balls to trouble the higher scorers from five in the order.
New Zealand may still be frustrated after losing the cricket equivalent of a penalty shoot-out to Sri Lanka in their first Super Eight game and are 1/1 to beat England.
If they are to triumph a first big contribution of the tournament may be necessary from Ross Taylor, who is 7/2 to be their top runscorer at Pallekele.
All odds and markets correct as of publication