England will be without star batsman Jason Roy for this clash, who sustained a calf injury whilst running between the wickets in their outing against South Africa. Sam Billings looks to take his spot in the team with Jonny Bairstow set move up the order and open the batting with Jos Buttler.
With an average of 120 in this ICC T20 World Cup, most would agree Buttler has been player of the tournament so far, the person with the second highest average is Shoaib Malik of Pakistan with 99.
Boult And Guptill Key For The Black Caps
Trent Boult is currently the joint second top wicket-taker in the tournament so far, the fast-medium swing bowler has a very respectable economy of 5.84 and an average of 10.45, so it’s no doubt that he’ll be the man the Kiwis are looking to.
Martin Guptill has been in great batting form coming into this game, the 93 off 56 against Scotland will have helped his confidence a lot and highlights just how dangerous he is at the moment.
Thanks to that game against Scotland, he has the highest number of sixes hit in one innings (7) so far this tournament, though his consistency has to be questioned considering his average of just 35, despite that top score of 93 against the Scots.
New Zealand Highest Opening Partnership
In the World Cup this year, England’s average opening batting partnership has been 39.4 compared to New Zealand’s 30.2.
While Roy will be out, an absence that could see a decrease in efficiency at the top of the order, Buttler and Bairstow scored 77* together against India back in March of this year and they also scored 91 against South Africa in February of 2020.
These are the two highest partnerships that they have got together, although neither of them came when they were opening the batting, and that added pressure at the start of the innings could see them get untangled.
Chasing Team To Hold Advantage
This Wednesday’s game will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium where there have been 14 games played in the last month. Of these, nine of them have been won by the team that has batted second.
This is most likely caused by dew which makes it harder for the bowler to grip the ball when it comes to the latter stages of the day.
The times were the team batting second didn’t win were utter mismatches in skill, where the order of who bats first or second would likely have not made a difference in the outcome of the match anyway.
Because of the lack of experience that Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order, the best value to be found is in New Zealand to have the highest opening partnership, while a bet on the match outcome should wait until the coin toss.
NEW ZEALAND HIGHEST OPENING PARTNERSHIP