New Zealand defied all the odds and made it to the final of the World Cup for the second time in a row. The Kane Williamson-led side defeated tournament favourites and table-toppers India in the semi-final to chisel their path into the game that matters the post. Here’s the predicted XI.
Martin Guptill: He may have the game for New Zealand with a direct hit to end MS Dhoni’s run but his primary job comes with the bat. He has been a livewire on the field and would look to end the World Cup campaign on a good note by getting his team a brisk start. Guptill’s willow has largely remained silent and it’s a golden opportunity for the belligerent opener to silent his harshest critics on the big stage.
Henry Nicholls: The southpaw got a decent start but failed to convert into a substantial score. Nicholls stitched a much-needed partnership with Kane Williamson to steady the ship a little but New Zealand would want him to go big and get a fifty against the new ball in the high-voltage game.
Kane Williamson: This man needs no introduction and has been the apt captain for New Zealand, especially in this tournament. From winning a game with a heroic six to milking the tough runs under the pump, Williamson has been in a different form altogether and will look to make up for his failure in the previous World Cup final by getting the scoreboard ticking this time.
Ross Taylor: When Taylor played a sluggish knock that attracted severe criticism in the final, not many had the idea of the taxing conditions. But suddenly his contribution became utmost important when India took guard on the next day. He is a brilliant analyser of the conditions and New Zealand would bank on his experience to get the runs in the middle-order.
Tom Latham: The southpaw got some runs when these two sides last met in the group stages and should feel confident going into the final. If New Zealand are eyeing to go deep in this clash, players like Latham and Guptill will have to dig deep.
Jimmy Neesham: the all-rounder has been a utility cricketer and has chipped in with either bat or the ball when his team needed him to do so. But If New Zealand manage to get a good start, the onus of keeping up the tempo and getting brisk runs will come down on the likes of Neesham and Grandhomme.
Colin de Grandhomme: Watching him bat is always entertaining but apart from the two occasions, Grandhomme hasn’t really got going. One thing is for sure, English bowlers will certainly have a tough time on the field if he gets going, which is exactly what New Zealand would be hoping for.
Mitchell Santner: While the Kiwi seamers walked away with the glory in the semi-final, Santner was the unsung hero. He got rid of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya – the two big fishes with his wily spin and dented India’s hopes big time.
Lockie Ferguson: He has taken a lot of batsmen with surprise and continues to be a threat in the middle overs. With English batsmen being comfortable against pace, Ferguson has to bring his A game to the fore in order to keep things tight.
Matt Henry: He pushed the star-studded Indian side on the back foot with his brilliant spell with the new ball. And one can only imagine the kind of command New Zealand would be in if he manages to do the same to England.
Trent Boult: The left-arm seamer has the experience of playing a World Cup final and a lot of New Zealand’s success will depend on the way he fares. Leader of the Kiwi pace attack, Boult would look to get the ball into the English openers and trouble them with his accuracy and deadly swing.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi