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India vs England – A Pre-Match Analysis

India’s batting may not have lived upto its expectations in the last two games, but still India are the only unbeaten team in this Cricket World Cup 2019, courtesy of a team performance.

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Even though there are individual stars, India is playing and winning as a team, which is why England needs to be wary.

England have lost two consecutive games on the trot against Sri Lanka and Australia, and have shown their vulnerability having lost all three games chasing.

India will most likely try to bank on this vulnerability, and make qualification just that little bit more difficult for the hosts.

England need to win this match to stay in 4th place, and ensure that they keep matters within their own hands. Historically though, England have never beaten India in a World Cup match and will have create history if the favourites are to reach the final four.

In this article we will compare the key players and match ups from both sides.

OPENING PAIR COMPARISON
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are still getting used to, with Sharma getting out for cheap in the last two games.

However, if the match against Pakistan is any indicator, then both can play in tandem together.

They will no doubt require more time together and will get used to each other’s style of play as they get more acquainted with each other.

England have more or less the same problem, with the injury caused to Jason Roy. James Vince and Jonny Bairstow have to bear the responsibility of scoring the runs at the top of the order and set up a solid platform for the middle order to capitalize on.

This strategy has held them in good stead, but England need to be a little more flexible in their strategy and mindset, if they are to win this all important match.

The middle Order of India is heavily dependent on Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. If these two get out early, then the inexperienced middle order exposes itself.

Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya are all good players, but when Kohli and Dhoni fail, will they be able to stand up and deliver? All three players are however handy with the ball, but when the time comes to bat, can the middle order withstand the fast bowling pressure of England?

England on the other hand have an experienced middle order core, who have played together for the last couple years now.

Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler form the formidable four of England’s middle order. Joe Root has been in fine form this Tournament.

Morgan would have liked to carry on his form with the bat after his magnificent 148 against Afghanistan. Ben Stokes has played magnificently in the last couple of games, and all Buttler need is 3 overs to destroy an opposition.

The middle order hasn’t scored in the last two games, failing to chase scores under 300.

If they are to win against India, England need these four players to be at their absolute best.

BOWLERS COMPARISON

India have the best bowling average in this world, with all bowlers chipping in with wickets. As they say “Batting wins your matches. Bowling wins you tournaments”.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Bhuvneswar Kumar are the three pacemen who lead the line with the new ball and at the death.

Shami having finally been drafted into the playing eleven showed his class in the last two games. In the middle orders they can rely on the medium pace of Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar.

In the spin department, they have Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kedar Jadhav, making India one of the strongest and most diverse bowling attacks in the tournament.

England have considerable bowling depth of their own. Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer are the three frontline bowlers.

All three bowl with pace ranging in the high 140’s. They have played together for quite some time, while Archer has had played in the IPL, the experience of which might prove to be handy for England.

In the middle overs, they can rely on the medium pace of Ben Stokes and the spin of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.

The spin duo have the most wickets since the 2017 Champions Trophy, only behind Chahal and Kuldeep.

England have to get back to their fearsome best if they are to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Our prediction is that England has higher chance to win, however we cheer for our own India. Keep going!

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Bangladesh – A Underdog Walkover Team in Cricket World Cup 2019

Bangladesh have indeed come far beyond the “underdog walkover team” that everyone thought to be.

Bangladesh Cricket World Cup Team 2019

Their rise in the international cricket scene has been slow but steady. It has been incremental and is now on show for all to see.

Qualification into the top four is still hard for Bangladesh, but if Bangladesh win their remaining games, along with other fixtures going their way, Bangladesh can do the unthinkable and reach the final four of the Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history.

And it will not be one based on pure luck. They will have deserved it thoroughly and will be a testament to their progress, with emphasis on fitness and fielding efforts.

Their first match against South Africa was an indicator as to what one could expect from Bangladesh. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim played a brilliant knock as they put more misery on the Proteas.

Their recent win against West Indies also showed that they are more than capable of chasing down big totals. Gone are the days when Bangladesh would be daunted by big totals and be knocked down for a paltry score.

In this article we shall analyse the Bangladesh Cricket team and how the team has become a force to be reckoned with in this Cricket World Cup 2019.

BATTING STRENGTH
One of the primary strengths of Bangladesh has been the wealth of experience available at their disposal.

Tamim Iqbal, Shakib-Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmadullah Riyad, and captain Mashrafe Mortaza form the core of the team who carry the bulk of the responsibility both on and off the pitch.

OPENING PAIR
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar form a good opening partnership and on their day can be absolutely devastating.

Tamim Iqbal Soumya Sarkar Bangladesh Cricket World Cup 2019
Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar
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Tamim is the leading run scorer in the country’s history and will shoulder a significant responsibility of scoring runs at the top of the order. So far, he has blown hot and cold, with only one fifty plus score.

However, one cannot keep a player of his calibre quiet for long. Sooner or later, he will be amongst the runs, and Bangladesh can only hope that he finds his form in the remaining games left, so that his team have a chance of qualifying for the final four.

MIDDLE ORDER
The man at number three, Shakib Al Hasan is the man of the moment so far.

Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh Cricket World Cup 2019
Shakib Al Hasan
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Having been promoted up the order, he is now the lynchpin of the Bangladesh team and is scoring runs for fun at the moment.

He has already scored two hundreds in this game, and will only be hungrier to help his team over the finishing line.

With experience and form backing him, Shakib is an asset to the team with his all-round abilities and he will certainly have to be at his best if Bangladesh are to reach the semi-finals.

Shakib’s middle order partner in crime, Mushfiqur Rahim is another mainstay in the Bangladesh team who seems to be around for eternity.

In the first game against South Africa, it was Mushfiqur’s and Shakib’s 150+ stand that allowed Bangladesh to post a mammoth total on the board, their highest in the Cricket World Cup.

Mushfiqur Rahim Cricket World Cup 2019 Bangladesh Team
Mushfiqur Rahim

Even in the last match against Australia, Mushfiqur’s brilliant hundred almost saw them take the lead against Australia.

Another batsman who almost steered Bangladesh over the line against Australia is wily all-rounder, Mahmadullah Riyad.

A highly effective batsman lower down the order, he was responsible for inflicting pain on the South Africans in their first game when he catapulted Bangladesh to score 54 runs in three overs.

He has the knack of both stabilizing the innings when wickets have fallen quickly, while also possessing the ability to score big runs in the dying overs of the innings. These qualities make him invaluable to the Bangladesh team.

BOWLING ATTACK
The bowling department is led by captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who has now played in a remarkable five World Cups.

 Mashrafe Mortaza Bangladesh Cricket World Cup Team 2019
Mashrafe Mortaza
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Although he isn’t as effective as he was back in his youthful days, he nevertheless still possesses a plethora of experience and game intelligence which has been very impressive so far.

The fast bowlers duo of Mustafizur Rehman and Mohammad Saifuddin are the two bowlers who are entrusted with new ball duties.

Mustafizur Rahman Mohammad Saifuddin Cricket World Cup Bangladesh 2019
Mustafizur Rahman & Mohammad Saifuddin
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Mustafizur has been plying his trade around the world playing T20 cricket and has the experience of playing alongside the best players in the world. His experience will therefore be extremely vital, as will Mohammad Saifuddin’s.

The latter is able with both bat and ball in hand and he is the perfect foil for Mistafizur. Saifuddin mostly tries to economical and stifle batsmen for runs while Mustafizur tries to get capitalize and take wickets off of them. The duo works in tandem and has been fairly successful in this World Cup.

The lone spinner is Mehidy Hasan Miraj who is a decent off spinner but bowls a very good line and length which makes him harder to cut or hit over the top.

He is more of a damage mitigation bowler rather than an out and out wicket taker. Nevertheless, if Mehidy does his job well, it takes the pressure off the captain as well as the other bowlers.

mahmudullah_cricket_world_cup_2019
Mahmudullah Riyad
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Handy with both bat and ball, he partnered Mahmudullah against South Africa to score a massive 54 runs in just 18 balls. He will be a player to look out for.

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Do Defending Champions Retain the World Cup

Australia come into this World Cup as the defending champions and certainly not one of the favorites to lift the trophy.

Australia Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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To take the crucial step into the top four, Australia will have to defeat bitter foes and tournament favorite, England.

In this article, we will analyze the Australian team and their chances of winning against England, and taking a crucial step towards finishing in the final four.

THE OPENERS
The top order of Aaron Finch and David Warner have been in sublime form, with both having scored 150+ runs in a single game.

 Aaron Finch and David Warner
Aaron Finch and David Warner
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They are both In the top ten of the highest run getters in the tournament with David Warner at the top of the summit. These two have considerable experience batting together and were part of their 2015 World Cup winning opening duo. Warner has been in exemplary form.

The bad news for the other teams is that Warner is not even close to his explosive best. If that happens, teams are in for a surprise, as we all are aware of Warner’s hitting prowess.

Finch has had a magnificent 2019 himself and has also really evolved as a captain. Michael Vaughan has added that according to him, Finch is the best captain of the World Cup, owing largely to his understanding of the game, and his stoic mindset which is reminiscent of MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup triumph.

MIDDLE ORDER
The middle order of Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are the key players who will have the responsibility of scoring the bulk of the runs.

Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
Steve Smith & Glenn Maxwell
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Usman Khawaja was the highest run getter in 2019 prior to this World Cup, having been awarded the man of The Series in the bilateral games against India.

He was struggling for form, but he seemed to have found it in his last game against Bangladesh, where he scored 80 odd runs and was instrumental in ensuring that Australia posted a massive total on the board.

Steve Smith needs no introduction. He is to Australia what Virat Kohli is to India. He is the anchor, the lynch pin around which the team revolves.

He is the player responsible for rotating the strike and keep the runs flowing. He was also part of the 2015 World Cup wining side, where he played a similar role, although he had Michael Clarke supporting and mentoring him.

This time, he has to be the torch bearer himself and has to lead by example. He has a good start to this tournament and one gets the feeling that some big runs are around the corner for Steve Smith.

The two all-rounders in this side, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are entrusted with bowling the last slot of 10 overs between them.

Maxwell is obviously well known all around the world for his explosive displays with the bat. With a solid foundation set by the middle order, Maxwell can really push into fourth gear and propel the side to a massive score like he has done on so many occasions before.

Marcus Stoinis Australia Cricket World Cup 2019
Marcus Stoinis
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He will be supported in this role by Marcus Stoinis as well as by wicket keeper Alex Carey. Another player who was part of the 2015 World Cup side, Maxwell is one of the more experienced players and he will have a crucial role to play if the Aussies are to lift the trophy at the home of their bitter rivals.

THE BOWLING ATTACK
The bowling is undoubtedly the strength of this Aussie team led by the fearful duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Cricket World Cup 2019
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins
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Both are extremely potent with not only the new ball but also with their unique knack to take wickets both during the middle overs as well as at the death.

Cummins has been a revelation this past year, having won the Allan Border Medal for Australian Player of the Year, and he seems to be getting better and better.

The good news for Australia is that both Cummins and Starc are among the wickets in this World Cup and are in the top ten of most wickets column.

Starc himself was the leading wicket taker in the 2015 WC and will be looking to maintain his record.

leg spinner Adam Zampa cricket world cup 2019
Adam Zampa
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The remaining two bowling slots are shared between leg spinner Adam Zampa and paceman Nathan Coulter Nile. Coulter Nile has shown himself to be an asset to this side with his match wining 92 with the bat against West Indies.

Zampa has the ability to take wickets in the middle overs, though he does have a tendency to leak runs. Despite that, he seems to be having the confidence of Finch and Maxwell and he will be hoping to justify the confidence of the selectors.

One cannot certainly write Australia off, as they are after all five time winners and the reigning champions. They will certainly need to play at their best if they are to win this trophy at the home of cricket.

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How the contenders are shaping up at the back-end

We’re a little over the halfway mark of this World Cup and while it hasn’t been of the standard that one would expect, Sri Lanka’s recent surge against England seems to have created a certain wave of hope for others.

ICC World Cup Cricket Team 2019
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The door has been opened for teams like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Let’s have a look at how the contenders are shaping up:

1.New Zealand:
Most people had New Zealand in the ‘dark horse’ category prior to the World Cup. One can argue that they’ve been bailed out by some individual performances, but it’s only a matter of time till they get their mojo back as a unit. New Zealand’s strength has always been to punch above their weight; they’ve done that and a lot more this World Cup.

New-Zealand-Squad-Cricket-World-Cup-2019
New Zealand Cricket World Cup Team 2019

Williamson and Ferguson have been the consistent standouts with supporting acts from Taylor, Henry, Boult and Santner. The big positive is that each of them has stood up at various clutch moments. The opening combination is, without a doubt, their Achilles heel. Colin Munro just doesn’t look like he belongs there.

It would be surprising if Henry Nicholls doesn’t play ahead of Munro, going ahead. Guptill has looked in decent touch, but failed to convert those starts. Taylor and Williamson cannot get New Zealand out of jail every time. Boult and Henry have been good, but Ferguson has been the wrecker-in-chief.

With such express pace, it’s amazing how accurate his is. His setup delivery to Faf Du Plessis is a prime example of the importance of aiding pace with shrewd tactics. To add variety, it would be a good move to introduce Ish Sodhi. Having secured 11 points in the bag, expect Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi to be given some game-time.

New Zealand are yet to play England and Australia; it wouldn’t be a bad time to test their bench strength and give some of the bowlers a break. New Zealand still haven’t hit their peak. They’re one complete team performance away from that and with tougher opponents in the way, there isn’t a better time to execute.

2. Australia:
In sport, early momentum is worth its weight in gold. Australia has gained that momentum and just carried it through. They seem to be finding themselves in tough situations, with experience taking over.

Australia Cricket World Cup Team 2019
Australia Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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Be it Starc, Finch, Warner, Smith, Maxwell, Khawaja or Cummins, this team has experience and X-Factor written all over it. Beating them in knockout games will be some task! The one area that’s been problematic is that of the third seamer.

They can’t seem to decide between Nathan Coulter Nile, Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff. It’s evident that they didn’t plan for the absence of Jhye Richardson. To fix that crack, Australia has looked everywhere, while the answer is right there; Nathan Lyon. Expected him to be a sure starter after having performed in the warmup match.

Against India, on a wicket with extra bounce, it was a shocker of a decision to overlook him. There is a certain reluctance, for some odd reason. With the number of left handers that England possess, it would be a wise move to include Lyon on Tuesday.

3. India
Expectations were high, and boy, have they delivered! India has been head and shoulders above the others, so far.

team india cricket world cup 2019

Afghanistan did expose a few known chinks in their armor, but India wouldn’t mind that sort of a game. It gives them an opportunity to further work on that middle order. Following that game, teams must look to open with a spinner against Rohit Sharma.

The last thing India would want is a repeat of the 2017 Champions Trophy Final. Surely, the team management would be itching to give Rishabh Pant an opportunity. The fact that Vijay Shankar can bowl is what’s keeping Pant out.

India would have been sweating over Bhuvneshwar’s injury and Shami provided them with gush of cold wind. There was nothing cold about his bowling though, as he casually went about with his searing pace.

His first spell in the game against Afghanistan is precisely why he should have been starting from game one. For a change, it’s a good problem for Virat Kohli to have, picking between two quality bowlers.

Long gone are the days when India was bereft of fast bowlers. This is a team that is looking primed to take a spot in the top two of the points table.

4. England
Has the ‘favorites’ tag gotten to their minds? Pre-tournament, it was a tactical move by all the captains and coaches to term England as the favorites and now, the pressure seems to be showing.

England World Cup Cricket Team
England World Cup Cricket Team

There was nothing in the pitch against Sri Lanka to justify such a collapse. Simply a case of crumbling under pressure. In their defense, England without Roy is like India without Rohit Sharma.

Their next three games pose as much a mental challenge as one to be played out on the field. England haven’t beaten India, Australia and New Zealand at the World Cup in 27 years! To add to that, these three teams combined have lost just the one game so far.

If there ever was a test of this ODI beast that England has created, it is now. People will very easily forget all that this team has achieved if they do not make the final four of this world cup. Eoin Morgan, the ball is in your court.

5. Sri Lanka
It was expected to be a no-show from Sri Lanka at this World Cup. Credit to them, they’ve turned it around, albeit with a bit of luck from the rain gods. With overcast conditions on offer, they’re not a side that most teams would want to face.

SriLanka Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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Sri Lanka relies heavily on Malinga to deliver at the top and back-end of the innings. To begin with, it was nothing short of a blunder to exclude Akila Dhananjaya and Niroshan Dickwella from the squad. At present, with the limited resources that they have in the bowling department, Sri Lanka have done well. In fact, the two frontline spinners (Jeffrey Vandersay and Jeevan Mendis) have been major letdowns.

It is the part-time spin of Dhananjaya De Silva that has proved to be effective. The Sri Lankan batting is a lot better than what the scorecards have shown. Kusal Perera has looked good in patches, Kusal Mendis has gotten starts, Angelo Mathews showed his class on a slightly sluggish wicket against England and Avishka Fernando provided everybody with a breath of fresh air through some exhilarating strokeplay.

With the cushion of a few more runs on the board, Sri Lanka could win their next few games and sneak through to the semi-finals.

6. Bangladesh
The ODI format gives you breathing space to mix youth with plenty of experience. With their batting order, Bangladesh have fond the right formula. Soumya Sarkar and Litton Das are given the license to go all out, while Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad take the game deep.

Bangladesh World Cup Cricket Team
Bangladesh Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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That’s not to say that they can’t up the ante, but the team’s blueprint is such. It’s the bowling that has been a massive buzzkill in a tournament that otherwise promised so much for Bangladesh. Out of five games, the bowlers have been guilty of conceding four totals in excess of 300.

On a couple of occasions, they have found themselves erring closer to 400, and that has not done their batting any favours.

Mohammed Saifuddin has to be a part of the team. His death bowling was the reason that Bangladesh managed to pull things back against a dangerous looking West Indies.

Two of their last three games are against Pakistan and Afghanistan, so they have every reason to be hopeful of a semi-final spot.

7. Pakistan
It would be unfair to say that Pakistan has been mercurial because they have been mediocre, barring the game against England. Their problems in this World Cup have been well documented in the past; lethargic fielding, poor death bowling, lack of substance in the middle order.

Pakistan Cricket World Cup Team 2019
Pakistan Cricket World Cup Team 2019
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Their top three batsmen have gone alright, considering all the chaos that’s been happening around them. It’s a matter of time before one of them gets a big score.

Going into their last few group games, Pakistan has to choose between Hafeez and Malik and move on. They’re both players with very similar attributes and limitations as batsmen. Haris Sohail looked good against England in the ODI series, without really scoring too many.

If you look at it, they don’t have too many options from the squad. Hassan Ali has to be dropped, for he has averaged over 80 in his last 15 ODI’s.

Pakistan have been pushed to a corner following the drubbing against India and there’s only one way up from there.

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New Zealand – The Dark Horses

The runners up in the previous world cup, New Zealand come into this World Cup as one of the dark horses. They might not be one of the big names in this tournament but they are the only side to have played three fixtures and won all three.

This New Zealand therefore requires some analysis as to how much of a threat they pose to the defending champions as well as the rest of the teams.

Opening Partnership

Martin Guptill & Colin Munro
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Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro form a formidable opening pair. Munro on his day can be as explosive as any batsman.

However, New Zealand will be wary that Munro tends to misfire more often than be explosive. That inconsistency could be a problem in the bigger crunch games against better sides who will look to expose that vulnerability.

Martin Guptill on the other hand is far more assured and vastly experienced. Ever since the end of the 2015 world cup, Guptill has average 50.01 at a strike rate of 94.7.

He has scored nine centuries in the 61 games he has played, more than in the previous 108 games of his career. Guptill seems to be aging like fine wine and with the natural talent and elegance the man possesses, he will be a thorn in the side of the opposition.

Middle Order
Williamson averages 47.01 since the last World Cup, and is ranked equal 11th in the world. Although he hasn’t been as spectacular as Guptill and Taylor, he has still been extremely solid, scoring five centuries in that time.

Also, thanks to his IPL experience, he is much better at hitting, staying calmer and more professional, and no longer simply relies on being hard to get out.

Williamson & Ross Taylor
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Some might argue that Ross Taylor has a claim to being one of New Zealand’s finest one-day batsmen. At the start of the 2015 World Cup, Taylor had 12 ODI centuries at an average of 41.75. Since the 2015 World Cup, Taylor has averaged a phenomenal 68.85, with eight centuries.

His position as the greatest Kiwi one-day batsman ever is now certain, with Williamson the only possible challenger. His career average is now over 48, and if he continues in anything like the same form it will soon be 50.

Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson are the pillars of the New Zealand middle order and their form with the bat will play a huge role in how far NZ progress in this tournament.

All-Rounders
Though Jimmy Neesham has been in and out of the team in recent years, his recent World Cup performances suggest that he has found a good vein of form. Ever since his comeback to the side, he has played eight matches, he has averaged 68 with the bat and 22.90 with the ball. Incredibly clean hitting has been a feature of his presence in the middle order.

He has started the WC incredibly well and will look to cement his spot in the playing eleven.

Colin De Grandhomme
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Colin de Grandhomme is a bit of an enigma in this Black Caps side. Despite being capable of massive hitting and incisive bowling, he remains a distinctly hit and miss player, especially with the ball.

He has only spent three seasons in the team, but has scored over 400 runs at an average of 29 and strike rate of 110. His all-round ability will certainly be an asset in this WC, along with his experience playing in the IPL.

The place of Daniel Vettori has been taken up unerringly by the spectacled Mitchell Santner who has cemented a place in the Black Caps ODI side thanks to frugal spin bowling and big hitting from the lower order.

Early last year he had an ODI bowling ranking of 7th, thanks to a truly miserly economy rate of 4.68 over his last 50 games. He also averages a handy 27.53 with the bat, and a more than handy 32.30 over the past two seasons.

At his favoured position of 8 he averages 37.73. More than adept with both bat and ball, Santner will be an asset to this New Zealand side if they are to win this WC.

The Bowling attack
Trent Boult
has solidly established himself as New Zealand’s premiere new ball bowler. He is rightly ranked 2nd in the world, behind only Jasprit Bumrah.

Trent Boult
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Since the end of the last World Cup, he has taken 107 wickets at an average of 24.59. Boult is getting some of his deliveries up to 145km/h, without losing any of the accuracy that he is known for. This makes him even more dangerous than before, and will be a threat to be reckoned with.

Matt Henry has taken 55 wickets since the last CWC, at an average of 29.72. Henry is currently ranked 14th in the world in ODIs, notably ahead of Dale Steyn (16th) and Mitchell Starc (22nd), and was in the top 10 last time he had an extended run in the side.

Along with fellow paceman Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult, they form a formidable trifecta of attacking fast-bowling.

The leading wicket-taker in this tournament so far, Lockie Ferguson is the latest addition to the Black Caps seam battery. Over the past two years, he has been impressive, taking 38 wickets at an average of 23.76.

Those are good enough numbers to have seen him climb to 21st in the world rankings, higher than even Mitchell Starc. Although he is still raw, some of the deliveries he puts down would have made Shane Bond proud.

His experience in the IPL with the Knight Riders will also prove invaluable as his side will look to go one better in this World Cup.

So the question raises – Does the New Zealand will win this world cup with the amazing team?

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