After a tied T20 series between England and New Zealand, it’s now time for the 50-over stuff and a superb four match warm up series for the impending World Cup. Friday dinnertime sees the 1st ODI at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff and we’ve previewed the game and given you our selections.
This is the first time these two sides have faced off since that famous 2019 World Cup final victory for England (1/2).
New Zealand (6/4) can count themselves massively unfortunate to have not won that game, super over, Ben Stokes over throws and all that and they will be looking for long awaited revenge.
England meanwhile, need to nail down their best 11 ahead of the showpiece finals in a little over a month’s time.
Harry Brook was amazingly left out of the provisional squad of 15, despite playing some of the best cricket in the world over the last 18 months.
The Yorkshire star replied the only way he knows how; smashing a 42 ball 100 for the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred, before two unbeaten knocks for England to take them to a 2-0 lead in the T20 series.
Now head coach Matthew Mott has spoken of the door being open for Brook and he has been added to the squad for this four game series. One last chance to shine before India?
England have added Ashes stars Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes into the squad, as well as adding Harry Brook as ‘cover’ for Jonny Bairstow, who has a shoulder issue.
Jos Buttler(c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes
New Zealand squad:
Tom Latham (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Will Young
New Zealand to win – 6/4
The Black Caps have all the momentum in this tour after a disappointing start. Back-to-back wins in the T20 have given Tom Latham’s men a real confidence that they can hang with this England side and the 50 over format probably suits their style more.
England have a poor recent record in the longer white ball format, losing nine of their last 14 games and have selection issues.
I’m taking the more settled tourist side to win this opener.
Tim Southee top NZ wicket taker – 11/4
The 34-year-old has added some real versatility to his game and made himself a real threat with the white ball.
He displayed that when taking 5 wickets in Dubai before arriving in brilliant style on the Hundred stage, taking 3-23 in his solo game for the Spirit.
Southee can swing the white ball both ways when opening the bowling and England have a shaky top order at present.