England v New Zealand 2nd ODI preview
What a difference a day makes. On Thursday evening England, fresh from a commanding 2-0 Test series triumph, had their feet on the Kiwis throats with many assuming that a follow-up whitewash in the short ODI series was something of a formality.
Roll on 24 hours and suddenly it’s New Zealand who are in charge after bossing the first of the three 50-over games, while England retreat into a huddle to work out what went wrong. Now it’s the New Zealand who are favourites to win the series and England who have it all to do.
To call England’s predicament a crisis would of course be a gross overstatement – it’s hardly even a mini-crisis and Coral go 4/7 that the home side bounce back with a win at Southampton on Sunday – but there will be concerns in the camp regarding several elements of their game at Lord’s on Friday.
In particular, they will be irritated by the number of batsmen who got themselves in and moved on to modest totals (four in the 30s) and then got themselves out again, some to injudicious shots.
Anderson and Swann aside, their bowling was pretty ineffective, too, although this was partly down to the misfortune of losing both Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to injuries. England are supposed to boast a strong back-up of quick bowlers, but Chris Woakes was belted out of the attack and Jade Dernbach yet again bowled too many bad balls as he strived so hard for the one magic one.
In contrast, New Zealand will have been pleased with their all-round game and particularly with Martin Guptill, who carried his bat for unbeaten 103.
Having said all that, it’s probably right that England remain favourites for Sunday’s 2nd ODI this weekend. They are still, man for man, the better side and the dynamics of these series (teams usually raise their game after a defeat) dictate that we are likely go to the wire.
If 4/7 England doesn’t appeal, stick with England’s new superstar, Joe Root, to be leading England batsman at 9/2. He looked to be still in good nick until picking the wrong ball for a reverse sweep.
For New Zealand, Guptill is 7/2 to again be top run-maker following his Lord’s heroics, but the gifted Kane Williamson will surely come good some time and it might be worth taking a punt on him at 4/1.
Guptill, by the way, was the only player at Lord’s to strike a six – he scored four maximums – but England have several big hitters of their own and it might well be a different story at the Rose Bowl. Coral go 11/10 England out-six the Black Caps.