After levelling the series in Napier, England look to have moved into another gear and should go on to win the series in Auckland early on Saturday, says Ed Hawkins
New Zealand v England
Start time: 01.00GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports
It has been confirmed that Martin Guptill has not recovered from injury in time for the deciding contest. Hamish Rutherford, who could only manage a ponderous 11 in defeat at McLean Park, is expected to continue to deputise. Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum were the stars of the show with the bat last time out. Taylor struck a fine hundred to prove he is over his difficulties within the squad and McCullum blasted 74 from 36 balls. There was precious little else, though.
The tourists look in fine fettle and produced a superb performance to win by eight wickets. Save from McCullum's blitz they were never in any danger. James Anderson's five for 34 was the outstanding performance of the day (including McCullum) and exposed New Zealand's bowling. They cannot match such class. But quite rightly Joe Root claimed the headlines. At only 22, Root's maturity coming in at number four and hitting 74 from 36 balls ensures England's future is in safe hands. Not surprisingly, we are not expecting any changes in the XI.
Here are the last 10 first-innings scores at Eden Park (most recent first): 206-311-238-273-149-275-234-201-336-262. That is an average of 249. Six from the last 10 matches with results have been won by the side chasing.
It would be bully for us if New Zealand were to steal the spoils by 2-1 in this final match. But a surprise nonetheless. We backed the Kiwis to win by such a scoreline on the basis that they were too big a price (there is no better reason) and they did us proud in game one. They didn't do badly in game two, either. But then England showed their class with the willow. That was a rather ominous display and we would expect their superiority to finally tell. New Zealand are minus Guptil and Mitchell McClenaghan, two key men, and they seem far too reliant on an onslaught from McCullum. What if he fails? England are 1.574/7 and the hosts 2.707/4.
Top New Zealand runscorer
There appears little choice but to side with Taylor or McCullum. But can Super Mac keep going with his onslaughts? He is striking at 174 for the series. Taylor is more circumspect and might be favoured.
Top England runscorer
Who to choose? Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott were all sprightly last time out. And we have already mentioned Joe Root. Perhaps with these four so tantalising, there may be room for a cheeky wager on Eoin Morgan or Jos Buttler at big odds. They are 6.4011/2 and 11.0010/1 respectively.