|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2012/13|
DateLine: 29th September 2012
England vs New Zealand
World T20 2012
Super Eight Stage
Handed contrasting but demoralizing defeats in their opening Super Eight matches, England and New Zealand would be looking for resurrection when they face off in what is likely to be an even contest at the World Twenty20 today. Both teams are in the same boat. Having lost their opening Super Eight games, they have to win to keep their ICC World Twenty20 2012 semi-final berth chances alive.
England were done in by the all-round brilliance of Chris Gayle as they lost by 15 runs to the West Indies, while New Zealand were left stunned in the Super Over even though they came close to victory in regulation play itself.
It was heartbreak for New Zealand against Sri Lanka in the Super Over. Their top order showed fine form with openers Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill and number three Brendon McCullum coming good with the bat. It is the lower order that hasn't quite clicked, including experienced all-rounder Jacob Oram. More is also expected of skipper Ross Taylor even though he has shown glimpses of his explosive self in entertaining cameos. McCullum leads the batting charts with 180 runs including a century and New Zealand will again be hoping for a big knock from him.
England, on the other hand, have failed to fire from the top. The team has lost early wickets in most games which has invariably hurt the all-important scoring rate. In the absence of the temperamental but immensely talented Kevin Pietersen, England's title defence has looked shaky and the team is likely to be put through a tough test by the Kiwis, who have a reputation of punching above their weight in big events.
"We've got to stop losing early wickets because it's hurting us," England skipper Stuart Broad has stated, underlining the biggest problem plaguing the team.
The bowlers' too have not had an exceptional outing so far even though Broad himself can draw confidence from the economical spell he bowled against a destructive West Indian line-up. A lot was expected of spinner Graeme Swann but he hasn't really worked much magic in conditions that are considered tailor-made for tweakers. But he might hit his stride against the spin-wary Kiwis.
New Zealand's bowling problems are quite similar. Their pace spearhead Tim Southee hasn't been too effective. Experienced former captain Daniel Vettori's spin has also not produced desired results.
Given the very similar nature of their strengths and weaknesses, it would be an intriguing battle when the two teams clash at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
A distinct flaw in both teams' approach has been the tendency to leave upping the scoring rate far too late, something that is suicidal in the Twenty20 format.
England (From): Craig Kieswetter(w), Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Jonathan Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad(c), Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Michael Lumb, Tim Bresnan
New Zealand (From): Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum(w), Ross Taylor(c), Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, James Franklin, Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Ronnie Hira, Adam Milne, Doug Bracewell, BJ Watling
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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