Even though England have started the tournament as favorites, absence of strike bowler Chris Woakes is a huge blow for them. The way Woakes has improved his game over last 18 months he had a vital role to play for Eng in this Champions trophy. There is a concern of Jake Ball and latest addition to team Steve Finn going for lots of runs. This will be the real test for England bowlers against strong NZ batting. Looking back to Eng- NZ ODI series in 2015, Adil Rashid had lot of impact in Eng’s series win.England missed that wicket taking option in mid overs against Bangladesh. So Morgan should consider Rashid in this match with Mark wood, Liam Plunkett and Jake ball as other bowlers. Coming to batting, Jason Roy has been struggling for quite some time and Sam billings is more appropriate choice in that position than Johnny Bairstow. When its about rest of Eng’s batting no worries of Roy’s opening partner Hales, Root has been consistent as ever, Morgan is in form of his life, Ben stokes has been doing well with his cameos & Jos buttler needs to get touch back as soon as possible.
England probable XI- Roy/ Billings, Alex Hales. Joe root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Jake Ball
NZ have a balanced team this time, they are the underdogs of this tournament. NZ batting looks more explosive with promotion of Luke Ronchi as opener, Martin Guptill is quality ODI player and has the ability to take over any bowling attack. No problems with veterans Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. Neil Broom still not upto the mark. Allrounders Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson & Mitchell Santner need to deliver with the bat since lower middle order are dependent on them. Last match NZ missed scoring even bigger because of the failure of lower middle order. Coming to bowling, Adam Milne with his raw pace got early breakthroughs against Australia and that resolves NZ’s 3rd pacer issue for time being. A Lot will depend on how well Trent boult and Tim southee will handle Eng’s early assault, quick wickets at early stage might bring Eng to worry.
New Zealand probable XI- Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi, Kane Williamson, Ross taylor, James Neesham, Corey Anderson, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Adam Milne
Overall good match coming up which can be termed as Battle of equals. There is rain forecast for the day, lets hope it doesn’t play spoilsport for this game.