New Zealand v England, 1st T20, Auckland February 8, 2013

New Zealand not far from being favourites


Match facts

February 9, 2013
Start time 7.00pm (0600GMT)

Big picture

It might only feel five minutes since the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka - and it is only five months - but the next tournament is little more than a year away so there is no time like the present to start the planning, especially with the fragmented nature of bilateral T20s at international level.

This three-match series gives both teams a decent chance to bed into the format. The structure of the tour is also to New Zealand's benefit with the shorter formats (50-over matches follow later this month) their best chance of turning England over - the odds favouring England could even be a little generous - and success in coloured clothes would allow them to enter the Test series in decent heart.

Both teams had a disappointing World T20 in Sri Lanka, exiting in the Super Eights, and have enjoyed mixed results since. England shared their series in India while New Zealand lost against South Africa, although they did gain one victory through a stunning innings by Martin Guptill.

Batting is probably the stronger department of both sides, especially with Ross Taylor's return for the hosts, and coupled with some short boundaries around New Zealand it should lead to a high-scoring series. England are still trying to work out their best combination of bowlers and Steven Finn's poor warm-up form has confused matters a little.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)

New Zealand LWLTL
England WLLWL

In the spotlight

Ross Taylor has admitted his relationship with coach Mike Hesson remains a "work in progress" but so long as his mind is switched to batting he will considerably strength the New Zealand side. However, his T20 numbers are perhaps a little lower than expected - an average of 24.37 and strike-rate of 120 - and it has been suggested that he has not always been best utilised in the order. New Zealand are not good enough not to make the most of him.

The England wicketkeeping merry-go-round continues and currently Jos Buttler is the man hanging on. Yet while questions remain about his glovework, as a batsman he is starting to show his rare ability. He has produced a couple of sparkling T20 displays in the last few months and prepared for this series with back-to-back rapid half centuries against the New Zealand XI.

Team news

Grant Elliott (quad) and Ian Butler (ankle) have been ruled out of the opening game meaning a call-up for allrounder Jimmy Neesham who now has a good chance of playing. Hamish Rutherford, the son of Ken, is in line for a debut to open the batting and Taylor's return is likely to come at No. 4 followed by a clutch of allrounders.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Hamish Rutherford, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Colin Munro, 6 James Franklin, 7 Andrew Ellis, 8 Jimmy Neesham, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

Joe Root did not appear in any of the warm-up matches so is unlikely to feature and the main issue is to solve being who plays at No. 7. Samit Patel bowled well in the second warm-up match and may be asked to share some overs with Luke Wright. Eoin Morgan's batting position will depend on the state of the innings and overs remaining.

England (probable) 1 Alex Hales, 2 Michael Lumb, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 James Tredwell, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

Pitch and conditions

It is a drop-in surface at Eden Park and is expected to be of decent pace, ideal for Twenty20 cricket. The unusual dimensions of the ground, which is also a rugby stadium, mean exceedingly short straight boundaries which will make life hard work for all the bowlers, but particularly the spinners. The forecast is for a warm, sunny day leading to a very pleasant evening.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand's top order will include three T20 hundreds (two for Brendon McCullum and one for Guptill) but England's batsmen have yet to score one. Alex Hales and Luke Wright have both reached 99.

  • England have only lost once in six T20s against New Zealand. Their most recent meeting was at the World T20 in Sri Lanka when England won by six wickets.


"I'd imagine it will be a feisty contest, like we always have with New Zealand, and both teams will be going hell for leather to win."
Stuart Broad

"He's come back in and he was smiling and happy and a definite part of the group. Ross is a fabulous cricketer and he's shown that so far in his career, his ability to step up time and time again on the international stage."
Brendon McCullum

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Balaji on February 9, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    de villers, pollard,watson dhoni and the likes would have hit a 50 sixes here in auckland .england score not enough to win.dernbach can make nz to win.

  • Dion on February 9, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Why didn't we bat. And the catching has been shocking. Does NZ actually want to win this game?

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    where is kevin peteresen?

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    The outcome of this match depends on how Ross,Brendon & Martin bat. NZ are a very good fielding unit, infact I think they are the best at present.

  • ubaid on February 9, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    england teams seems to be strong on the paper as Newzealand team includes too many new wishes are wid newzealand team...all the best McCullum and co....

  • Sean on February 9, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Should be a good series & NZ will be much tougher than australia were, in Englands last limited overs series against them.

  • Jon on February 9, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    This looks like the strongest T20 side that New Zealand has fielded in years -it would have been good to see Ronnie Hira and Tom Latham in the mix somewhere. Hira is the best T20 spinner in the country by some distance, and Latham's game has come on so much - his innings the other day in Whangarie was brilliant.

  • Shashank on February 9, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    @rishabh@Krishna651 I think Neo Prime is the broadcaster for this series. Even last Newzealand home series was live on Neo Prime and till first game was played there was advt regarding the same.

  • Matt on February 9, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    @TestofTime: Who cares if Dernbach plays or not? It's only T20, it's not like it's cricket. At least he's been dropped from the ODI squad.

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    Astonishing that England would even still consider Dernbach as a viable option. I'm all for giving people a run but surely he's had a go and proved that he's not international class!

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