England v NZ, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 21, 2014

Batting gives reinvigorated NZ the edge


Match Facts

March 22, Chittagong
Start time 1930 local (1330GMT)

The Big Picture

These are two teams whose recent fortunes could hardly have been more contrasting: New Zealand had a home season where their game has been reinvigorated - capped by victories over India in both Tests and ODIs - while England lurched from disaster to disaster in Australia and have barely started the recovery process despite a small improvement in the West Indies.

New Zealand are usually fancied to at least reach the knockout stages of global events; England are rarely fancied to stay too long. That is pretty much the status quo this time.

This is a match between sides that play a similar brand of cricket. Neither side possess the unorthodox spin which is tipped to be eye-catching over the next couple of weeks, instead relying on more traditional bowling resources such as finger spin, brisk pace bowling and medium-pace cutters.

However, where the balance is tipped in New Zealand's favours is the batting power and the form of those individuals. Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Luke Ronchi and the latest star, Corey Anderson, provide destructive capabilities.

England's batting has provided the odd flash of encouragement - notably from Michael Lumb and Jos Buttler - but there has been precious little consistency with how they have built recent innings. Eoin Morgan appears short of form, and questions remain over the severity of his knee problem (the captain, Stuart Broad, also has his own knee worries), while the absence of you-know-who continues to hang like a dark cloud.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

England WLLLL
New ZealandWWLWW

Watch out for...

Michael Lumb has looked in as good form as any of England's top order in the last couple of weeks. He blitzed a career-best 63 in the third T20 against West Indies and struck the ball cleanly in the warm-up match against India. As with all England's batsmen he is more comfortable with pace on the ball and off the pitch, so if the Chittagong surface retains its characteristics from the opening round it will suit him.

Brendon McCullum has had a career-defining few months, leading his side to victories over India and scoring New Zealand's first Test triple-hundred. And now he is back in the format that helped cement his global fame when he struck 158 in the first ever IPL match. He is far and away the leading run-scorer in T20 internationals and he could play a floating role in New Zealand's order depending on the match situation. England have felt the force of his blade a few times before.

Team news

Stuart Broad, who appears to have overcome his knee injury for now, spoke about consistency of selection, which means that Ian Bell is likely to continue sitting on the bench having not played since being flown to the West Indies. With the seamers being in the game more at this venue, England will be tempted to go for the extra quick ahead of the second frontline spinner in Stephen Parry. Chris Jordan, the likely man to benefit, also brings some power to the lower order.

England (possible) 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Stuart Broad (capt), 10 James Tredwell, 11 Jade Dernbach

Kane Williamson will provide the top-order anchor around the big hitters and his offspin will also come in very handy. Anton Devcich, the allrounder who bowls left-arm spin, could keep Ronnie Hira out of the starting XI. New Zealand have a strong hand of pace options; Trent Boult will find it hard to earn a spot.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Kane Williamson, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk), 7 Anton Devcich, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

Pitch and conditions

The pitch was a little grassy on the eve of the match with skiddy bounce rather than turn expected which would certainly please England. Broad thought it would go through for the quicks. Dew could be a problem for the evening game; England trained with wet balls to prepare for such an eventually.

Stats and trivia

  • Brendon McCullum needs 41 runs to reach 2000 in T20Is - he is already 624 ahead of the man in second place: Mahela Jayawardene

  • Since January 2013, England have won just four out 13 T20 fixtures - only one Full Member, Bangladesh, has won fewer.

  • However, England have a strong head-to-head record against New Zealand with seven wins against three defeats.


"I think these conditions might suit us a little bit more than Dhaka and as players we need to make sure we make use them."
Stuart Broad was pleased with the relocation to Chittagong

"It's much better for us. He is obviously a world-class player and there is a demand for him around the world as well. "
Brendon McCullum on the absence of Kevin Pietersen

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jeff on March 22, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    What has Ali done to get in the team? He dosnt look international class. Also we have too many bowlers. 5 specialist bowlers plus Bopara (who is consistently our best bowler anyway) and the aforementioned Ali (if you dont need him to bowl 4 over what is the point of picking him) is too many.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Looking forward to seeing what the Kiwis can bring to the table, you'd think at their best, with B Mac and Anderson firing they could post up some big numbers, should be very entertaining as the Pommy spinners have very little mystery to them.

  • Jeff on March 22, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    No Pietersen = No Hope. The difference between Pietersen and some of the other 'ex players' people have mentioned, from Gooch to Grace, is simple. The other players are either retired, past thier best, or dead. Pietersen is not an ex-player, he is a current player, in the best years of his career. Cook should be fired and returned to the ranks for destroying the English cricket team - he isnt even a good captain.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    I think both the teams are lacking of spinners..in sub-continent condition only 1 regular spinner is not enough!!! Although a 50-50 contest...!!

  • David on March 22, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Yes, I think short of England actually picking Lord Voldemort and letting him unleash a few Avada Kadabra bouncers, they've got no chance this tournament!

  • John on March 22, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    @ SamWintson92 on (March 22, 2014, 9:05 GMT) Isn't Tradewell (in your line up) a business advice support line?

    seriously , I'm pretty much in agreement re the side although I wonder whether I'd have Dernbach in for Broad. I don't think SB has been that great lately (not that JB has either) and I wonder about risking his long term fitness for tests (a format where he has done well) for a format where he recently has not. I dont think CK is the answer. I'd say the way he plays (boundary or nothing most of the time) is one of our biggest batting issues in SFs

  • John on March 22, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @ kiwicricketnut on (March 21, 2014, 20:39 GMT) Hello bud. May the best team win.

    Re Dernbach - he is one of thee most frustrating bowlers out there. When he gets it right he is awesome but I think he lets things affect him too much when the odd decent delivery goes for 4. The thing is he'll go back to Surrey and look unplayable. Purely at the moment I say Bresnan is the worst of our bowlers out there - but that says more about him being bad than Dernbach and co being ok. I think NZ have more dangerous batsmen - more matchwinners. Anderson's SR has been scary in recent times. I will watch this game optimistic for an England win and then wonder why afterwards

    @JB - KP would probably have been injured anyway. I think people forget that he has hardly played any T20 or even ODI cricket for England in recent years

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    it is funny how people are praising newzealand here because all of them are praising their batting lineup and their wins aginst west indies and india we all know that indian bowling line up is weak especially in foriegn conditions and one need to remember nz grounds are very small in size and are green tops where as in bangladesh it is spinning tracks and medium sized grounds we have seen how nz played in india,sri lanka and recently concluded bangladesh tour just before indian series almost with the same batting line up.

  • Sam on March 22, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Well, I selected Wright for this match & with him out of this tournament here's my updated teams:

    Any England article, I always want to write, ''KP SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK''.

    My Teams:

    NZ XI: (McCullum should open) 1 B McCullum (C) 2 Guptill 3 Munro 4 R Taylor 5 C Anderson 6 Ronchi (WK) 7 Devcich 8 Neesham 9 N McCullum 10 Southee 11 McClenaghan.

    ENG DUMPING BEST BATSMAN KP XI: 1 Hales 2 Lumb 3 Moeen 4 Kieswetter/Bell (If Kieswetter isn't available) 5 Morgan 6 Buttler (WK) 7 Bopara 8 Jordan 9 Broad (C) 10 Tradewell 11 Parry.

  • Joe on March 22, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    i still think england team didnt justify dropping KP and finn, for what reason are they out of this team? finn was most successful bowler in recent years and obv nothing to say about KP.