New Zealand vs England: Third ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

With the series locked a 1-1, New Zealand and England will head to the Westpac Stadium for the third ODI on Saturday morning. 

The five-match series heads to Wellington, where the Kiwis will attempt to rekindle the success achieved in the first match and the English will insist on a repeat of triumph in the second.

This is exactly how fans and neutrals alike would want a lengthy ODI series to pan out, with teams swapping victories for defeat throughout - and we're set for another cracker this weekend.
New Zealand v England | Saturday, 3 March | Westpac Stadium, Wellington | 03:00
To Win Match
New Zealand 13/10
Tie 35/1
England 61/100

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New Zealand
The home side missed Kane Williamson in the second fixture due to a hamstring injury - and their commander in-chief might miss the third, too. Coupled with that might be the absence of Ross Taylor, who is nursing a hurt quadricep muscle. If neither of them feature in the XI, a substantial amount of pressure will be placed on Martin Guptill and company to perform.

England have exposed the predictability of Colin Munro's approach, with the opener needing to chase less outside the off-stump and perhaps hit straighter during the opening powerplay. Mark Chapman, meanwhile, is probably in for another gig - and must deliver on the promise shown for Hong Kong and in the T20I tri-series recently.

New Zealand swapped leg-spinner Ish Sodhi for fast bowler Lockie Ferguson earlier this week, but a return exchange seems appropriate at the Westpac Stadium, where taking pace off the ball must be preferred. Trent Boult and Tim Southee do a good enough job in conjunction up front, before Sodhi and Mitchell Santner can partner Colin de Grandhomme through the middle overs.

Those middle overs, indeed, will be key. The Kiwis are decent at striking up front, but have to find a away of snatching breakthroughs at regular intervals before the slog is on at the end. Southee noted this after defeat at the Bay Oval - and might need to be used more sparingly at the start and end in order to necessitate a brief spell in the middle.


The English were far better in the field than their opposition in Mount Maunganui, where Jason Roy and David Willey in particular led by example. The tourists, in fact, orchestrated four run-outs - and their intensity was entirely more evident than the Kiwis' relatively lackluster showing. While runs and wickets will ultimately decide the result, there's no looking past the influence of England's zeal in the field.

The visiting XI will rely a lot on Ben Stokes again. Man of the Match in the second ODI, his return to the XI has brought immediate impact - and the Kiwis will be acutely aware of the need to successfully combat his role with bat and ball. They'd do well to force him into false shot selection against Santner, while their batsmen can chase good ground when he does occasionally err in length.

Eoin Morgan's team will do well to exploit conditions at a venue that has brought New Zealand four defeats in their last 10 ODIs. England last played the intermediate format of the international game at this ground three years ago, when they lost to Sri Lanka in the World Cup. They have several survivors from that game, including Joe Root, who scored a superb century then.

Hot and humid conditions are expected in Wellington on Saturday, when the tandem role of spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will be on display. The ball tends to grip and turn a bit more in such weather - and the batting side will know full well that they can't let Rashid get away with the miserly economy he enjoyed at the Bay Oval. 

Verdict: England 61/100
New Zealand will be pretty light on batting if Williamson and Taylor can't play. Their sterling home record over the past 12 months is very much under threat.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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