About the Match
Both England and New Zealand performed well in their respective opening matches of the Champions Trophy 2017. For England, this strong performance led to a victory over Bangladesh. New Zealand however, could not defeat Australia despite being in a very strong position, as rain played spoilsport. New Zealand will now take on England in their next game at Cardiff on 6th June and would want to get a win under their belt this time around. England would be looking to continue on their winning ways, however, and to deny New Zealand what could essentially be their semi-final berth.
England began their home Champions Trophy campaign on expected lines. They were expected to defeat Bangladesh in the tournament opener and so they did, and now all their focus would be on a far better and more established New Zealand.
The current fifth-ranked team in the ICC ODI team rankings, England, has had a real turnaround since the 2015 world cup, where they were eliminated during the league stage of the tournament. The England side playing this tournament is a completely different team to the one which played in the 2015 world cup though, and they have made some steady but definitive progress under the leadership of Eoin Morgan in the last eighteen months.
Being the hosts for this game will provide England with the all important home advantage. They will know the conditions inside out and the crowd will be on their side as well. This familiarity with conditions also brings added pressure though, and how well England is able to handle this pressure can determine the result of this game.
Most of the players in the English squad are in good form and did well against Bangladesh in the tournament opener. Ben Stokes, who was in sensational form with both bat and ball in the IPL, will be a crucial player for them in this game. The England top order was in sensational form against Bangladesh, with Alex Hales, Joe Root, and Eoin Morgan getting good scores. The bowling also did well as a unit with Liam Plunkett the stand out performer with four wickets.
England will be entering this game with a well-balanced squad and some good recent success. Though how successful they will be against New Zealand will depend on how well they are able to handle the pressure of expectation.
New Zealand has always been known for punching above their weight in the ICC tournaments and they did exactly that in their first game of the tournament against Australia, where they had the world champions reeling but rain played spoilsport and robbed New Zealand of a well-earned victory.
The 2015 world cup finalists have been playing some good ODI cricket recently and would be looking forward to putting in another strong performance in this game as well. New Zealand has been in good ODI form recently with some strong performances against Ireland and Bangladesh in the recently concluded tri-series. They followed op on these performances with another strong showing against Australia.
The conditions in England will be quite similar to the ones at home for New Zealand, and they will be hoping to exploit this familiarity. New Zealand has a very potent and versatile pace attack and the bounce in the English wickets would be an advantage for them.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been in very good form playing in the IPL, and his performance in the first game was the base which set up New Zealand for a big total. He has been their most important batsman for a while now and he will need to deliver again for New Zealand to stand any realistic chance against the hosts.
New Zealand’s knack of putting in great performances in the ICC tournaments means they will have England on guard, but defeating this English side will require some exceptional cricket from the black caps.
Both England and New Zealand are two very competent ODI outfits. New Zealand was one of the finalists from the 2015 world cup. England, on the other hand, had really struggled in that tournament. But both New Zealand and England have come a long way since then. Both these sides are pretty well balanced, but New Zealand traditionally performs better at ICC events. However this England side is one of the best ODI outfits going around currently, their squad appears to be more settled and in-form on paper, and they will carry the confidence of a superb win in their previous game into this match, and this gives them a slight upper hand in this contest.