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Previous World Cup finalists England and New Zealand will face off in the opening match of the 2023 World Cup on Thursday, October 5. This encounter will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Our top England vs New Zealand predictions
- 1 Our top England vs New Zealand predictions
- 2 Can England begin their title defence with a win?
- 3 Pitch report and weather conditions
- 4 Key match details for England vs New Zealand
New Zealand might not be one of the top four favourites coming into this World Cup opener but they have always reserved their best for the ICC events. England, however, are the defending champions and one of the best, if not the best, white ball teams in the world.
England to win: 1/2 (1.5)
New Zealand might have done well in World Cup cricket but in recent times it does seem like England are their bugbear team.
Over the last seven ODI matches that have been played between these two nations, New Zealand have managed to win just one to go with that famous 2019 World Cup tie. England have taken them down five times.
Backing a well-oiled English team to kick-start their defence with another victory over New Zealand here.
Top England batsman – Dawid Malan: 7/2 (4.5)
Since the last World Cup finished, Dawid Malan has scored the most number of ODI runs for England, pegged at 1022.
While that’s just 40 more than the next-best Jos Buttler, the bigger reason to back Malan is his average. Malan averages 63.87 in this period which is the third best for any batsman who has made at least 1000 runs in these four years.
Can England begin their title defence with a win?
A strong showing from England and New Zealand in their warm-up games sets up an intriguing opening clash between these two rivals who had played out a once-in-a-lifetime sort of a World Cup final the last time they had met on this stage.
As far as balance goes, England look to have it all. They have very aggressive batsmen like Buttler, Harry Brook and Jonny Bairstow, while Joe Root and Malan add stability without eschewing their run-scoring.
The presence of Ben Stokes in the middle-order gives them great all-round capabilities while their bowling is bolstered by the extreme pace of Mark Wood, the swing of David Willey and Chris Woakes and the twin-spin of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
It’s now about getting all of this together in conditions which are slightly more alien to them than their home conditions.
Top ten players with best batting average in ODIs since 2019 WC (min 1000 runs) :
• 1) Shubman Gill 🇮🇳 : 70.40
• 2) Babar Azam 🇵🇰 : 66.54
• 3) Dawid Malan 🏴 : 63.87
• 4) David Miller 🇿🇦 : 60.70
• 5) Sean Williams 🇿🇼 : 57.68
— Lubana Warriors (@LovepreetS49) September 28, 2023
New Zealand are a reasonably strong unit and have decent players of spin on a surface that could aid slow bowlers at some point.
What could be a bit of a question-mark is their record in India, with the Kiwis having won just three of the 11 ODIs they have played in this country over the last 10 years. That’s one of the worst win-loss ratio for any country to have played this format in this country.
Add the fact that New Zealand could be without their captain Kane Williamson for this opener it just makes it that much more difficult for them.
England vs New Zealand H2H
This is very interesting head to head with both teams having won 44 ODI matches apiece! Three have ended in a tie including that famous World Cup 2019 final.
Over the last five, it’s 3-1 in favour of England (with one tie) and the last 10 matches have resulted in seven wins for England and just two defeats.
Pitch report and weather conditions
It looks it will be a clear sunny day in Ahmedabad with very little chance of rain. The temperature could touch a high of 35 degrees centigrade with a humidity of 52% – in short it has all the makings of a hot, sapping day especially in the first half of the match.
Since having gotten reconstructed and rebranded as the Narendra Modi Stadium, it hasn’t been the highest scoring grounds in the country with only one score over 250 recorded here over six innings from three matches.
There could be spin on offer in the first innings and the ball might move around under lights in the second.
Key match details for England vs New Zealand
- Date & Time: 8.30 am GMT, Thursday, October 5
- Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
- Where to watch: Sky Sports is expected to broadcast this match live for the UK audiences while New Zealand viewers can watch this with Sky Sport NZ. Hot Star and Star Sports will telecast this in India.
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