England v New Zealand, 4th ODI, The Oval June 24, 2008

Confident New Zealand to welcome back Oram

Cricinfo staff

Match facts

Wednesday June 25, 2008
Start time 10.45 (9.45GMT)

Grant Elliott has been in fine form with bat and ball © Getty Images

The big picture

England's upward one-day curve hit a blip at Bristol on Saturday, with New Zealand triumphing by 22 runs to level the series at 1-1. The joy, or relief, with which the tourists celebrated showed how difficult the last few weeks had been and, as they approach the fourth ODI at The Oval, the momentum is with them. Grant Elliott, the allrounder who was playing for Weybridge in the Surrey Championship a week ago, has surprised everyone with his composure at international level, and his 56 at Bristol hoisted New Zealand from the depths of 75 for 6 to a challenging (and ultimately match-winning) 182. Kyle Mills and Tim Southee also found form, but for England, it was their complacency with the bat which cost them. Going into the first of the two London matches, they have two selection dilemmas to ponder. Alastair Cook, whose shoulder injury ruled him out of the first three ODIs, could return at the top of the order at the expense of Ian Bell, who injured his knee during a warm-up. Meanwhile Ryan Sidebottom has recovered from a stiff back and could return at the expense of James Anderson.

Form guide

England LNWLT (most recent first)
New Zealand WNLWT

Watch out for

Ryan Sidebottom His natural aggression and competitiveness will be to the fore if, as expected, he earns a recall to bolster England's seam attack. Now recovered from a stiff back which ruled him out of the second and third matches, he will be looking to continue the dominance he has had over New Zealand's batsmen in recent months. England urgently need him firing on all cylinders if they are to combat New Zealand's growing confidence.

Grant Elliott Paul Collingwood spoke of his admiration for Elliott after the Bristol ODI, claiming he and his team-mates were well aware of his credentials. Even he, however, must have been surprised at Elliott's allround contribution in the series as his 3 for 23 at Edgbaston was followed by a fine, calm fifty in Bristol to lift New Zealand's total to 182. Lively in the field, he has quickly become a vital cog in all facets of the game for Daniel Vettori.

Team news

Bell tweaked his knee during a warm-up at The Oval and it could prompt a return for Cook, who himself has recovered from his shoulder injury. Sidebottom, too, should return - possibly at the expense of Anderson whose performance at Bristol was mercurially indifferent.

England (possible) 1 Luke Wright, 2 Ian Bell, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Paul Collingwood (capt), 6 Owais Shah, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Ryan Sidebottom, 11 Chris Tremlett.

Jacob Oram has declared himself fit and raring to go, having fully recovered from the side strain which ruled him out of the first three matches, providing New Zealand considerable strength and much-needed balance. Gareth Hopkins is the man to miss out, meaning Brendon McCullum takes back the keeping duties.

New Zealand 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jamie How, 3 Ross Taylor, 4 Scott Styris, 5 Daniel Flynn, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Grant Elliott, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Mark Gillespie.

Umpires: Mark Benson and Steve Davis

Stats and trivia

  • England's run-rate at The Oval is a lofty 4.88. England have lost their last three matches at the ground, however.
  • New Zealand have played five times at the ground, only winning once. They beat USA by 210 runs in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy.


"I played five days on the trot before I joined up with New Zealand - three with Sussex Seconds, one for Weybridge and then a charity game, but I didn't feel as if I was ready to hit the ground running."
Grant Elliott, the South African born New Zealand allrounder, responds to his fine start to his one-day international career.

"We're very disappointed we didn't take an opportunity here. We had the opportunity to be pretty ruthless and go 2-0 up and we kept losing wickets."
Paul Collingwood rues his side meek performance in Bristol.