Trent Boult comes in and Lockie Ferguson goes out as the Kiwis look to wrap up the series with a game to spare. However, as discussed in this week’s Cricket…Only Bettor (below), there’s no evidence that Boult improves the home team’s chances with their win rate worse with him included.
Boult will likely form a fast front three in the bowling attack of Tim Southee and Blair Tickner, unless New Zealand want to include one of their all-rounders in Scott Kuggelijn or Daryl Mitchell. In game three, New Zealand had only one over from a non-specialist bowler (Jimmy Neesham).
Banton in tune?
Could this be the flat wicket and short boundary Munro has been looking for? He remains at 11/4 for top Kiwi bat with Sportsbook despite poor returns so far. Had he been pushed out a little we might have been tempted to get involved because De Grandhomme, at 4s, has been paired back to no value. Guptill is 5/2 jolly. Tim Seifert has some appeal at 9/2 from the No 3 position.
For England, Banton could well build on his encouraging start. He’s at 16/5 behind Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan at 13/5 each. We don’t expect Bairstow to return to the opening berth for this one. Eoin Morgan probably bats too low for 9/2 to be value but his slog sweep could do serious damage.
England need to bat first
New Zealand are 1.80 and England 2.22. The home team’s price is holding pretty firm, then, and refusing to budge back to the 1.73 that was available before their defeat in the opener.
England are inconsistent. They were solid in the first match, error-strewn in the second and, then, solid again for three-quarters of the game in Nelson. They should have won and everyone knows it. What that does to confidence in a format which players know can be fickle is anyone’s guess.
The venue, though, should give them a boost – if they bat first. We note the toss bias above and reckon the tourists are bang in the game if they get the chance to post something big. However, if the flip goes against them the likes of Martin Guptill and Munro could really tuck in.
Colin de Grandhomme top scored from the No 4 position and he now appears to be moving towards specialist bat territory. But Colin Munro’s poor form, harking back to the Caribbean Premier League, continues. Remember there is no Kane Williamson.
In Nelson, the Kiwis will probably reckon they got out of jail. England’s collapse from 139 for two when chasing 181 had more to do with players not knowing their role than home pressure.
Encouragement for tourists
Are England going to be down about that defeat in Nelson? Well, if the intention of the series was to uncover a couple of players to challenge for a World Cup squad, while ruling others out, they might not be too disappointed.
Tom Banton and Matt Parkinson both showed huge promise. Banton only made 18 but his strike rate (180) highlighted his temperament. He was not fazed by international cricket. Matt Parkinson, who could well replace Adil Rashid as their No 1 spinner, looked at home with an economy rate of seven.
Pat Brown is going okay, too, although there isn’t good news about Lewis Gregory and James Vince. Gregory looks out of his depth while Vince’s wasted opportunity to take England home when well set was a big black mark. Time is also running out for Sam Billings. It must be now or never for him.
Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Star Sports, Sky Sports, SuperSport, Geo Super, Willow TV, Fox Sports, Channel 9, Lemar TV, Flow TV, BeIN Sport
Live streaming: Hotstar, BeIN connect, Sky Go, Yupp TV, Flow Sports, Foxtel Go
Expect run glut
McLean Park is known for having some of the shortest square boundaries in the world. So does that mean we’re in for a runfest?
In its only T20 international between New Zealand and Bangladesh, runs did not flow. The visitors posted 143 in defeat. There were 11 sixes. It’s a different story domestically. The last five scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent) read: 230-1/225-1/208-1/166-1/165-1. The sixes in those last three were 17/16/15.
Will win the Toss
Will win the Match