New Zealand v England ODI: Don’t Underestimate the Black Caps6 min read
When: starts Sunday 25th January 1am GMT.
Where: Seddon Park Hamilton.
England come into this series off the back of a disappointing T20 series in which the batsmen, bar Dawid Malan, failed to fire but now return to the format they are currently best in by some distance. Beating Austalia 4-1 in January’s ODI series was an impressive victory and this time they have the added benefit of the return of a certain Mr Stokes.
But it doesn’t pay to underestimate New Zealand who are, and have been for some time, a very decent limited overs outfit. It should be a close series. England and New Zealand are ranked third and fourth in the current ICC ODI rankings.
England are clear favourites coming into the series because of their record in ODIs over the last year to 18 months but New Zealand are a hard team to beat in their own environment, they have won eight of their last nine home ODI series and there is value in backing them to win the series at . It will be close though. Both sides have strength in depth in the batting and well balanced teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if New Zealand were to edge the series 3-2.
Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Ben Stokes return to the squad. Ali and Root after resting for the T20 series and Stokes after the much documented suspension and then non-suspension from England following the incident in Bristol last September. It all means that England have most of their preferred squad from which to pick although given Malan’s recent good form, it seems a shame he is going home. They will miss Liam Plunkett’s pace but Craig Overton has come into the squad as a replacement.
Stokes’s return means that one of Roy, Hales and Bairstow will make way for him and at least initially it may be Alex Hales who has had limited success this winter. It remains a powerful batting line up and having been able to rest for the last three weeks, it’s worth looking at Joe Root to be England’s leading run scorer – he comes in at .
Stokes himself has played barely any cricket in the last five and half months so it’s almost inevitable he may take a bit of time to get back in the swing of things but the England camp report that he is as physically fit as he has ever been and his bowling gives a very valuable added dimension to their attack. I wouldn’t back against him coming back with a vengeance with the ball and being England’s leading wicket taker – he is to do so.
Adil Rashid’s leg spin will have an important role in this series and he has now laid his cards on the table that he wants to be a white ball specialist – he is to be England’s leading wicket taker and looks at interesting option in this market.
The Kiwis have a formidable batting line up. In Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor they have three batsmen in the top 15 ranked batsmen. Guptill is in good form and has something of a point to prove to the world having been overlooked for an IPL deal and is worth backing to be New Zealand’s leading run scorer ().
In the bowling department they are well covered. Both Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner appear in the top ten of the ICC rankings and Boult’s ability to swing the ball both ways makes him an attractive option for leading wicket taker. In the spin department, Santner and Ish Sodhi may prove to be the difference between the two sides.
The last time these two teams played out a one-day series was in 2015 when England edged a 3-2 victory on home soil. But New Zealand had won three of the previous four series between the sides, though it was England who came out on top in last year’s Champions Trophy at a wind-swept Cardiff.