England v New Zealand World T20: Sodhi and Guptill to send Kiwis through

An early assault by Martin Guptill could have a big say on the outcome of the match
An early assault by Martin Guptill could have a big say on the outcome of the match

The Editor's column has enjoyed the World Cup as much as the likes of Virat Kohli, Mitchell Santner and Ben Stokes, currently showing a profit of 7.03 points. This is the hardest match to call to date but we have to side with the more resourceful and well-drilled unit...


"New Zealand deserve to be favourites because they’ve beaten tournament favourites India, not lost a game, adapted brilliantly to conditions and have a beautiful balance to their side. Just as an example, in their last match all-rounder Grant Elliott took three wickets for 12 runs off four overs."

England v New Zealand
Wednesday, 14:30
Live on Sky Sports 2


New Zealand

New Zealand are the only unbeaten side at the tournament. They've done everything right so far that you need to when playing winning T20 cricket: picked the right players for the conditions, assessed what would be a good score when batting first, had good bowling displays from both the seamers and spinners, combined good strike rotation and big hitting. They have also fielded absolutely brilliantly. Perhaps as impressive as anything was the fact they never panicked. Not when Australia started well chasing a low score, not when Pakistan started brilliantly and going at 10 an over chasing a big score.

The one and only criticism we can make is that Kane Williamson should have bowled first when winning the toss against Bangladesh in what was effectively a dead rubber. They could have done with having some practice at chasing a score; they've batted first in all four matches.

They'll pick their team based on the conditions once again. That means the only doubt is whether they play Nathan McCullum as the third spinner or paceman Adam Milne.


England

The only side who can be said to have played four entertaining matches. The last one against Sri Lanka was the best of the lot. There was nothing wrong with the batting at all but that they allowed Sri Lanka back in the game (the Lankans actually trade at odds-on having been seemingly out of the contest) is very worrying for Trevor Bayliss and his entourage. Still, some exceptional death bowling by Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes and an outstanding catch from Joe Root means it's them and not Sri Lanka who play New Zealand.

England are likely to be unchanged and as ever, we'll have to wait and see where Jos Buttler, Man-of-the-Match in the last game, will bat.


Ground and First Innings runs

This match will be played at Delhi which hosted England's matches against Afghanistan (142) and that thriller against Sri Lanka (171). It was also the venue for the dead rubber between Sri Lanka and South Africa, where Sri Lanka scored 120. But that was down to genuinely poor batting. Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir did however find some turn. 160 first up would leave both sides very much in the contest.

England won both matches after batting first and South Africa beat Sri Lanka after bowling first. But then again, all three matches were won by the favourite so it's hard to say whether it's best to bat or bowl.


Match Odds

New Zealand deserve to be favourites because they've beaten tournament favourites India, not lost a game, adapted brilliantly to conditions and have a beautiful balance to their side. Just as an example, in their last match all-rounder Grant Elliott took three wickets for 12 runs off four overs. England deserve to be outsiders (2.1211/10) because they've come perilously close to exiting the tournament on several occasions. In New Zealand's favour is the fact that they have the better spinners, which could be crucial here. In England's favour is the fact they've played here twice already.

This could be a perfect match for trading but if you want to have a pre-match bet and stick with it, go with New Zealand at 1.910/11.


Top New Zealand Wicket Taker

Ahead of England v Sri Lanka, we made the point that England had struggled against spin when playing Afghanistan and that they wouldn't have seen much of Jeffrey Vandersay, who was Sri Lanka's top wicket taker on the day with two wickets. This time we'll make the point that they struggled against the spin of Vandersay and won't have seen much of Ish Sodhi, the tournament's second highest wicket taker (excluding qualifying matches). That's one behind his team-mate and fellow spinner Mitchell Santner, who is a similar price. Sodhi gets the nod because he'll bowl when the ball is older and the pitch is tackier, in this case an advantage for the bowler.


Top New Zealand Batsman

Martin Guptil ticks all the boxes for being Top Kiwi bat. Opener, check. In-form, check. Big hitter but capable accumulator, check. He's been top bat in two of the three matches he's played and could be about to make it three from four.


Recommended Bets
1 point Back New Zealand to win @ 1.910/11
0.5 points Back Ish Sodhi to be Top New Zealand Wicket Taker @ 4.03/1
0.5 points Back Martin Guptill to Top New Zealand Batsman @ 4.03/1

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