4 years after their heartbreaking loss to Australia in the final of the 2015 World Cup, the Black Caps will play their second consecutive World Cup final with the tournament hosts being their opponents once again. The cricket universe will get a first-time champion as both New Zealand and England have never won the World Cup.
While Eoin Morgan’s men were everyone’s favourites to lift the trophy this year, here’s why New Zealand have a strong chance of ending their World Cup drought -
Kane Williamson’s army made their intentions of winning the 2019 World Cup clear by thrashing Sri Lanka in their opening encounter. The Kiwis stayed undefeated in the first phase of the group stage but they struggled to maintain their momentum as they suffered defeats at the hands of Pakistan, England and Australia. However, their superior net run rate brought them into the semifinals.
In a high-pressure match against India, New Zealand kept their calm and defended 239 to reach the finale. This performance showed that the Kiwis have nerves of steel and those nerves matter a lot in a match so big as the World Cup final. New Zealand had even won several close matches in the tournament which signifies the aforementioned statement.
England, on the other hand, have never been comfortable under pressure. They are the best team in the world when they get a chance to bat first. But, in case New Zealand wins the toss and even puts a total between 250-260 on the board, they can put the hosts under pressure.
Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson can remove England’s cornerstones, their openers early in the innings. Once Eoin Morgan and co. are under pressure, New Zealand can seal the deal.
If England bats first, the chances of New Zealand winning the match are minimal. New Zealand’s chances increase by a considerable amount if the Kiwis get an opportunity to put runs on the board.
Also read - World cup all-time recordsPublished 13 Jul 2019, 16:45 IST