Michael Vaughan: New Zealand the value bet for the first T20

Brendon McCullum is a genuine T20 superstar
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Less than two weeks after their final match in India, England are back in action in the first T20 against New Zealand in Auckland. Michael Vaughan believes Stuart Broad's men will take their time to get acclimatised and is backing the hosts at a decent price...

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It wasn't exactly a long break for the England lads who played in India but it always takes time to get used to new conditions no matter where you have come from. 

The pace, the length and the overhead conditions are all different when you travel somewhere new and you just need time to work out how to play it. 

I think England have better players than New Zealand but if there is one thing you can be sure of with the Kiwis these days is that they are geared up for T20 cricket

The younger players will have seen the likes of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor making millions on the T20 circuit and that's where all their focus seems to be. The Test side is a shadow of its former self but they are pretty good at the shortest form of the game.

With this in mind, I'm slightly surprised to see England as odds-on favourites for the first ODI in Auckland, trading at around [1.8] with the hosts out at [2.2].

The market is a reflection of where England are in cricket across all forms, but I think the Kiwis are well worth a tickle at that price.

They're a smart side, they'll be good in the field and they have plenty of power hitters who can clear the ropes, especially on the small grounds out there. The England bowlers have gone for a few in the warm-ups, so I'm expecting plenty of runs.

Looking at the top batsmen markets, you will never go far wrong sticking to the top three. Alex Hales looks like he is in good nick for England and. for the hosts, Martin Guptill is an excellent striker of the ball. Look for around [4.5] on each.


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