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The festival of T20 cricket is now over in New Zealand as teams now move to Hamilton to start the ODI campaign. The first ODI between England and New Zealand will be played on 17th of February 2013 at 01:00 GMT. As we now move on to a longer version of the game, there would be, as always, some changes in the team composition of both the sides. While the hosts are expected to come out with almost the same team, there would be plenty of changes in the English squad. The pitch is expected to behave similar to the pitch in the concluded T20 series and a run scoring feast is expected. Due to cool climate and a hard surface, spinners may not get much assistance from the track. In fact, smaller ground size might result in them going for lots of runs.
The English team management has the habit of keeping a different team for different format. Therefore, it won’t be surprising if we see a lot of different faces in the side (ODI Squad). Besides that, their captain would also be changed, and Cook would lead the team in this format. The new players might struggle in relatively newer Kiwi conditions, so a good combination of old and new players is a must. Despite excellent last game, opening pair would change, allowing Bell and Cook to open. Bowling combination, however, is expected to remain the same with a minor change of Dernbach out of the team. Considering heavy changes in the side, it would not be wise to judge the team solely on the basis of T20 performance; having said that, England team still remains a formidable lineup.
Home team always has an advantage during the beginning of the series as the other team knows a little about the conditions. As evident from T20 series, the Kiwi side is a little inexperienced, but has enough talent to upset any side in the world Cricket. One of the major issues with them is inconsistency in their batting, especially when it comes to Brendon Mcullum. Their opening combination does not seem to be lining up against aggressive seam bowling and this was proved in the third T20 series. Ross Taylor would have to play a big inning to announce his comeback after being removed as their captain. As mentioned above, they do have home advantage and it may provide them the much required boost.
At the beginning game of the ODI series, there might be some nerves due to a scintillating T20 series. The T20 series was decided by a match that featured English batsmen hammering Kiwis to all parts of the ground. This was much due to poor batting by them and excellent bowling by England at first. The New Zealand team would remain almost the same, and their batting needs huge improvement. They need to occupy the crease for the longer periods to stop the fall of wickets. Kane Williamson’s return might help them, but I think their team just lacks the experience to get past England. To make the job even more difficult, England bowling has gained in confidence and the big guns are back. I’d place my money on England for this game.
Winner: England, 1.61 @ Bet365
There have been much talk about Eoin Morgan’s form. He is a very talented batsman, but has failed miserably in the last few games. Also, Jonathan Trott has been in good form for a very long time and has secured the number three spot. In addition to that, Trott gets to face more deliveries due to his position in the batting order. I suspect Trott to score more runs in the match, making the following bet worth it.
Trott v Morgan - Batsman Match: Jonathan Trott, 1.67 @ William Hill