Cricket World Cup Final Picks
In the last 10 years, England have only managed five ODI wins at Lord’s from 16 attempts.
Sunday will be England’s fourth final and New Zealand’s second with both sides still looking to win the tournament for the first time. England’s team on paper is amongst the greatest limited overs teams in the history of the game but teams aren’t remembered for coming second in major tournaments. The hosts will take a huge amount of confidence from overcoming their mid-tournament blip when the pressure was on, making India, New Zealand and Australia look like schoolboys in the process.
England’s record at Lord’s is poor but I don’t see that remotely affecting this group. Eoin Morgan’s side have proved they’re made of sterner stuff than England’s ODI teams of the past and I expect them to dismantle the New Zealand side for the second time in the tournament.
Whilst England’s batting line-up is rammed to the rafters with talent, the Kiwi’s rely heavily on Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper has amassed 548 runs at an average of 91.33 throughout the World Cup with no other member of their squad within 200 runs of him. He holds the key to this match and if England can get him out cheaply again in this match they’ll fancy their chances of ripping through the New Zealand order. He’s performed on the big stage time and time again for his country and I fancy him to stand out as usual for his side. Not my boldest of shouts, but can’t see any alternative.
Any talent that New Zealand may lack with bat in hand they more than make up for with their array of bowling options. Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult have collected 18 and 17 wickets respectively on their route to the final with Matt Henry and Jimmy Neesham not far behind on 13 and 12 wickets apiece. The England batsmen showed the first sign of real weakness when facing Australia’s left arm seamers in the group stage game, with nine of the 10 wickets taken by Behrendorff and Starc. For that reason I’m going with Trent Boult top New Zealand bowler.
Jofra Archer will be licking his lips with Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls stroll to the crease on Sunday. The New Zealand opening pair have had pathetic tournaments thus far and I expect Archer to get a few early wickets and be the pick of the England bowlers in this game yet again.
LBW being the first wicket method interests me here. Perhaps an unusual pick on the face of it but with the Lord’s slope in play and Boult’s angle to the England openers it’s a big possibility. Equally, both the New Zealand pair are massive LBW candidates in a similar way Archer got Finch on Thursday and Woakes got Nicholls for a golden duck in the group game.
First wicket method: LBW @ +600