It’s another tough match for England in Wellington, coming hot on the heels of the disappointment against Australia in Melbourne.
Had we kept the Aussies down to 280, 290 then I reckon we might have had a chance batting second, but it all went a bit wrong in the last 10 overs against players who will punish you if you are below your best.
They batted really well, they made life difficult for us and so I can understand that we had to go hell for leather early on, which leads to losing wickets. The match just sort of got away from England.
Taylor & Finn Provide The Positives
The main positives from the defeat were James Taylor and Steven Finn, who of course took a hat-trick so soon after my tip that one would be taken in the competition. I expect £1 from all of you Unibet punters for my advice!
Taylor – who hit 98 not out from 90 balls – was excellent. It was tough on him batting at No. 6 but he proved just what a class player he is.
I know all about him from Notts, and hopefully he’ll have a really good World Cup. I think he should be moved up the order to No. 3 later in the competition to give England the best chance.
Captain Morgan Will Be Back
Eoin Morgan has been in the spotlight of late as he’s struggled a bit, but I have absolutely no doubts about Morgs. He’ll come good again.
People forget that he scored a century just a few games ago against Australia in Sydney, and although he’s got just two runs in five innings I wouldn’t worry too much. He’s class, and one of the best players I’ve ever seen and played with.
The great thing about him is that he doesn’t worry too much about what people say.
He’ll bounce back, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if he gets 100 here.
New Zealand Are Flying, And That’s Bad News For England
As much as I want to be very positive about England’s chances, I think that this match with New Zealand will be a really tough one.
As I said last time, the Kiwis are my pick for the World Cup and they are really strong. They’ve got some great players and they are really a top drawer side at the minute.
Obviously my heart says England – who are available at 2.55 to win – but it’s a real ‘heart versus head’ situation, and so I have to say that New Zealand will probably win the match. They are the favourites at 1.52 and I definitely understand why.
England’s Star Men
I’ve said that I fancy Morgan to get a big score in this match, so I’m going to stand by that and back him to be England’s top batsman.
He’s due a good innings and will get one sooner rather than later.
He’s 7.00 to be England’s top batsman and 15.00 to top score in the match.
Bowling wise, I’m going to back Stuart Broad to have a good game for England.
He always starts well, and given the pace and bounce in Wellington I reckon he’ll get wickets. He’s 4.25 to take the most for England and 7.00 to take the most in the match.
Ultimately though, I can’t look past Brendon McCullum as the key player in this match on either side. He’s done well against England in the past and is obviously such a class player.
The Kiwi skipper is 4.00 to top score for New Zealand, 6.50 to score the most runs in the match and the 9.50 favourite to be man of the match.
Look out for more of Graeme Swann’s exclusive previews throughout the World Cup!