More 'fighting spirit' needed by New Zealand
by Asher Wilson

Scorecard:New Zealand v England
Event:England in New Zealand 2012/13

DateLine: 19th February 2013


New Zealand v England
2nd ODI 2013
Match Preview


New Zealand would be looking to wrap up the One Day International series against England with another victory in the 2nd ODI between the sides at Napier on Wednesday, after taking the opener in Hamilton by three wickets at the weekend.


When the Kiwis' captain speaks of their fighting ability, it was no more so on display than during his partnership with the injured Martin Guptill. The pair saw New Zealand home after Guptill was forced to leave the field in the sixth over of the chase following a hamstring injury. He returned at number nine with the sole intention of hitting boundaries, which he did to devastating effect.


McCullum, coming in at number six, was able to build on the work done by Kane Williamson, who provided the platform with a metered 74 from 99 deliveries. Chasing 258, McCullum took New Zealand, who were struggling at 155/5, through to victory by forming astute partnerships with the lower order and heaving deliveries to the boundary when the English pace attack dropped it short.


However, New Zealand have been forced to draft in Hamish Rutherford and Tim Southee into the squad following not only Guptill's injury, but a side strain to Mitchell McClenaghan, who picked up 4-56. The Black Caps have Trent Boult waiting in the wings, but may be tempted to go straight for Southee, who was in great form before his injury and has made a strong return, picking up nine wickets in a domestic contest.


Admittedly, one felt that the return of the English big guns, minus Kevin Pietersen, would add lots of stability at the top of the order and make it difficult to penetrate for New Zealandís bowling attack. This was not too wrong, with three of the top four recording half-centuries. However, it all came apart in the final ten overs or so, when they lost their last seven wickets for only 72 runs.


England should have set a total twenty or thirty runs more than they did, which would have put their total just out of the reach of the Black Caps. They will nevertheless be forced to learn not only from their mistakes with the bat, but also with the ball as we saw some misdirection in the final overs.


It still must be admitted that quality in the English side at the moment is astounding and even on a run-of-the-mill kind of day, they should prove too much for New Zealand. However, that 'fighting spirit' previously mentioned is not a force to be underestimated.


McLean Park in Napier will host the middle ODI and interestingly enough, has seen two ties between these sides in four contests at the ground since 1988. New Zealand have a pretty good record here overall in recent times, but not all of these wins have come against quality opposition. The weather is expected to be clear.


New Zealand (probable): 1 Hamish Rutherford, 2 BJ Watling, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 6 Grant Elliott, 7 James Franklin, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Tim Southee.


England (probable): 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Chris Woakes, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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