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June 14, 2008
Match factsSunday June 15, 2008
Big PictureFrom the frenzy of Twenty20 to the slightly more demure 50-over version, England and New Zealand face off for the first of five ODIs at Chester-le-Street, and it is the hosts who begin as favourites. A thumping nine-wicket win in the Twenty20 at Old Trafford on Friday has further boosted England's confidence following their series-win in the Tests, and New Zealand - who admit that one-day cricket is their forte - are further hampered with yet more injuries. Without Jacob Oram, who has been ruled out for at least 10 days with a hamstring strain, their middle and lower order lacks substance, and they will miss his economy with the ball. With rumours of infighting between John Bracewell and Daniel Vettori, New Zealand desperately need to start the series with a win and end their difficult tour of England on a high.
Form guideEngland LTWLL (most recent first)
Watch out for...
Brendon McCullum Uncharacteristically muted in the Twenty20 at Old Trafford, McCullum nevertheless remains a formidable figure at the top of the order. His exhilarating 158 from 73 balls in the Indian Premier League underlined his star quality - were proof even needed - and New Zealand urgently need him at his fearless best. Surprisingly, he has yet to notch an ODI hundred in 128 matches. Now could be his time.
Kevin Pietersen He hasn't made a hundred in one-day colours since the 2007 World Cup, but there were signs in his slick 41-ball 42 on Friday that his best form might be just around the corner. In his last 20 matches, he averages 31.05 - significantly down on his career mean of 48.18, and a hungry Pietersen is precisely the person England need to assert their authority over a shaky New Zealand.
England's lineup is unlikely to change significantly from their winning side on Friday, with Ian Bell and Luke Wright providing a solid base as openers. Wright needs to perform, however: he has shown glimpses of his talent with the bat, but needs to convert those promising starts into big innings, especially with Alastair Cook breathing down his neck. Cook, though, is unlikely to recover from a shoulder niggle he picked up on Saturday, with Andrew Strauss earning a call-up as cover. Meanwhile, Ravi Bopara didn't have much to do at Old Trafford, but has been in exhilarating form for Essex and bolsters an already strong middle-order for England. Ryan Sidebottom, who was rested for the Twenty20, could return at the expense of Graeme Swann or Dimitri Mascarenhas.
England (possible) 1 Luke Wright, 2 Ian Bell, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Paul Collingwood (capt), 6 Owais Shah, 7 Dimitri Mascarenhas, 8 Tim Ambrose (wk), 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Ryan Sidebottom, 11 James Anderson.
The balance of New Zealand's side rests on how they cope with the absence of their towering allrounder, Jacob Oram, who has injured his hamstring. Their top-order looks strong - McCullum and Ross Taylor should provide the explosive strokeplay while Scott Styris, James Marshall and Jamie How offer ballast. The situation is less certain for the middle and lower-orders, and with Peter Fulton out of form they could gamble on choosing five specialist bowlers. Tim Southee, whose injured ankle kept him out of the Twenty20 at Old Trafford, was included in the 12 and could make a return. Mark Gillespie was left out.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jamie How, 3 James Marshall, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Daniel Flynn, 7 Daniel Vettori (capt), 8 Kyle Mills, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Jeetan Patel, 11 Michael Mason
Umpires: Steve Davis and Nigel Llong
Pitch and conditionsThe highest one-day score at The Riverside this season is Durham's 298 for 7, though the average is closer to 200. There is plenty of opportunity for batsmen who play conventionally, while the bowlers will never be totally out of the contest either. Traditionally a sporting wicket, conditions are expected to be cool but dry.
Stats and Trivia
Quotes"It was an amazing performance, but it means nothing for the one-dayers. We know we've got five tough games against them but hopefully we can keep similar sort of standards and put them under pressure."
"It's a huge blow to us because he's one of the best allrounders in the world so any time you lose him makes it tough to recover from it."
Daniel Vettori on Jacob Oram's absence after injuring his hamstring
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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