England are set to take on New Zealand at Lord's in the World Cup 2019 final on July 14 in a bid to become the third nation after India and Australia to lift the trophy on home soil.
In the past, England has hosted the World Cup four times but are yet to win the world title. England will be playing their first 50-over World Cup final since 27 years, after the 1992 edition in which they lost to Pakistan in the summit clash. Before that, England had played the finals in 1979 and 1987.
The final on Sunday will be the fourth instance when the two sides who had previously never won the World Cup will be facing each other. The other three were in 1975 (West Indies Vs Australia), in 1987 (Australia Vs England) and in 1992 (Pakistan Vs England).
On 14th July, England will start as favourites as they were at the start of the tournament. So, let's have a look at the reasons why England are likely to win the World Cup.
England started well at the tournament with a huge win over the South Africans. They stuttered a little due to losses against Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka. They were on the verge of getting knocked out in the group stage itself.
England had never beaten India, Australia, New Zealand in the World Cup encounters. But, they have managed to beat all of them in this World Cup and that too quite comprehensively.
They beat the No.1 ranked ODI team, India, by 31 runs at Edgbaston. This victory was special for England as it built the necessary momentum for the upcoming fixtures. They successfully outplayed India as they won the crucial toss and scored heavily against a strong Indian bowling lineup.
They beat New Zealand in a group stage match by a huge margin of 119 runs at Chester-le-Street. Jonny Bairstow was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his brilliant 109. It started the winning run for England as it was one of the must-win games for them.
In the second Semi-Final, England played as they played for the last 3 years. Despite losing the toss, they managed to get the openers cheaply and never succumbed to the strong Australian batting line-up.
On the other hand, New Zealand had a solid win over India but, they have lost to England in the group stage and also lost the last few matches of the group stage.
Home crowd and the Lord's advantage
ICC has been the in-charge of preparing the pitches and the ground management for the World Cup. But England has an advantage as pitches mostly have been the same as they were over the last 5 years. We have seen several 300+ games in the tournament and this will definitely suit England's explosive batting line-up.
It is also quite evident from the fact that the last two World Cup winners have been from the host country. India won it in 2011 and Australia won it in 2015.
Lord's cricket ground has been the highest-scoring venue since 2015. This will definitely help the English team as they are more reliant on their batting as opposed to their bowling and would not mind having high scoring games.
England has an upper hand when it comes to the team comparison. England has covered its bases better than New Zealand.
New Zealand's top order is yet to fire as Martin Guptill is having an abysmal tournament. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have been the only stand out players with 548 and 335 runs respectively. Their bowling department has done much better than the batting department. Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult are among the top wicket-takers. They will need more than these efforts to beat England on 14th July.
On the other hand, England looks a well-balanced team. Their batting looks good as all the top five in their batting line up have scored more than 350 runs at a healthy strike rate. They have seven hundreds scored among them and several hundred-run partnerships. In the bowling department also they are doing well as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are among the leading wicket-takers with 19 and 17 wickets respectively.
England, the inventors of the modern game, have played in three World Cup finals but won none. Many outside England will hate them clinching their first World Cup crown, but it might be the time.
It would be interesting to see whether England makes it a hat-trick of World Cup wins for the host nation or will New Zealand break the trend to clinch their first World Cup title?Published 12 Jul 2019, 22:15 IST