New Zealand aim for overseas whitewash
June 5, 2013, Trent Bridge
Start time 2pm (1300 GMT)
The Big Picture
We knew New Zealand were a more competitive side in one-day cricket than in Tests but few would have gambled on the tourists having the series wrapped up with a match to play. The net result is New Zealand's stock has risen significantly and England's odds for the Champions Trophy are lengthening.
Alastair Cook is facing his first crisis as one-day captain, largely caused by injuries to Steven Finn and Stuart Broad. To call Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes suitable replacements is generous. Dernbach has surely proved his isn't currently an international bowler and Woakes has failed to perform as many thought he might.
England are now at a crossroads with their bowling attack. They can stick with their seam-bowling plan and bring Boyd Rankin in and hope they have either Broad or Finn fit, or they change tack and utilise James Tredwell as a second spinner and Ravi Bopara to take pace off the ball. They must be mindful of likely conditions for the Champions Trophy when picking their side for the third ODI.
Their batting line-up was a little keen at the Ageas Bowl and England lost too many wickets that stymied partnerships which could have hurt New Zealand. A trend of batsman getting attractive 20s and 30s needs to be bucked. Jonathan Trott showed the way but England failed to bat around him.
New Zealand by contrast are in excellent shape with batsmen and bowlers in form and their side settled. Both efforts with the bat in this series have been textbook. Martin Guptill played two wonderfully controlled innings that allowed freedom for the dashing players down the order. However, an attack which takes pace off the ball would test the other skills of their boundary-hitters.
The New Zealand bowling has proved successful, too. Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan have performed well with the new ball, Nathan McCullum has done a fine job as the spin option and once again Brendon McCullum has produced an innovative captain, his genius moment at the Ageas Bowl was the introduction of Grant Elliott. McCullum also sets a high standard in the field that his team have followed, out-fielding England at both Lord's and Southampton.
A dead rubber before a tournament gives both sides a chance to rest players - although McCullum has said his main thought is 3-0 - but England will be more concerned with rediscovering a winning formula after their Plan A was found to have a few flaws.
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Alastair Cook has enjoyed an untroubled reign so far as England one-day captain as the side steadily improved and touched No. 1 in the world. But he has arrived at the first mini-crisis. Cook is cast as operating only within tried-and-trusted methods but now team selection and tactics may need to become a little more inventive to shake England out of the malaise shown in the first two ODIs.
Tall, broad-shouldered and left-armed, Mitchell McClenaghan has enjoyed a tremendous start to his international career with 15 wickets at 18.73. He is a pacey, bouncy bowler who has taken to life in the New Zealand one-day side. He must have wondered what all the fuss was about having made his debut against South Africa in Paarl with the side at their lowest ebb of recent times. Since then, McClenaghan has been part of series wins in South Africa and now England and can look forward to a solid Champions Trophy campaign.
England have to make changes. There is no possible case to persist with Dernbach - the most expensive bowler in ODI history who has delivered 1000 balls. Rankin was drafted into the squad and, in a dead rubber, is worth handing a debut to. There is also a strong case to replace Woakes, who has failed to live up to his billing in 13 ODIs. Bopara could replace him in the allrounder's slot or Tredwell could play as a second spinner. England could also choose to rest Graeme Swann and James Anderson, especially if they have one or both of Broad and Finn available again.
England (possible) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 Boyd Rankin
New Zealand, rather unexpectedly, have the luxury of a dead rubber but have already said that rotation for rotation sake won't happen. Tim Southee should return after being rested at the Ageas Bowl and workloads of others will be noted. Daniel Vettori is unlikely to be risked ahead of the Champions Trophy. The likes of Colin Munro and Ian Butler may have to wait.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Luke Ronchi (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Brendon McCullum (capt), 7 James Franklin, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan
Pitch and conditions
Trent Bridge is traditionally a swing-bowler's ground and England will be hoping that proves the case if they maintain their Plan A. But the good weather could produce a wicket with plenty of runs in it again.
Stats and trivia
- The last time England were whitewashed in an ODI series at home was in 2006 when Sri Lanka triumphed 5-0
- New Zealand's last ODI series sweep was in 2007 when they beat Australia 3-0 (excluding series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh).
- All five of New Zealand's previous ODIs at Trent Bridge came during World Cups. They have won two and lost three, including defeat to England in 1975
"What was impressive is that he always managed to find the right option at the right time."
Alastair Cook in praise of Martin Guptill's 189 at the Ageas Bowl.
"It's massively important to us to win this series 3-0. We don't want to go to the Champions Trophy after having lost a game. We want to keep the momentum going. Any winning team is a confident team and we want to carry that forward into the Champions Trophy."
Mitchell McClenaghan does want to lose intensity