New Zealand smashed the living daylights out of the Sri Lanka bowlers on their way to a comprehensive win in their first ICC World T20 2016 warmup match Thursday. The Kiwis will now look to pick up another confidence-building victory when they play England in another WT20 warmup match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai Saturday.
The Kiwis open up the World T20 against hosts India, and in order to gear up for that particular mouthwatering clash, Kane Williamson's men will want to be as prepared as they can be, which is where the England game will come into play.
New Zealand have a potent batting unit, as they showed in the match against Sri Lanka, scoring 226/5 in their 20 overs. Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott all contributed to the total, and with the batting on song, this New Zealand lineup can go a long way.
Much, though, will depend on the bowling, and if the pace-heavy lineup can do the job in Indian conditions. New Zealand have Nathan McCullum, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner in the squad, but you feel the Kiwis will rely more on their pacers, and, as a result, how well they do in the tournament will have a big bearing on their success.
India, at the moment, are as tough an opponent as you can expect, and New Zealand will hope for some nice match practice against England.
Not too many people are tipping England to do well, but Eoin Morgan's men have a nice squad of T20 players, capable of lighting it up on their day. The fact that they are in the easier group of the Super 10s will also help, and with another warmup coming up Monday as well, they will want to use the two matches to get acclimatised to the conditions.
The warmup against New Zealand will be a good barometer of where they stand going into the main rounds of the World T20 from next week.
Where to follow live
New Zealand vs England is scheduled for a 3 p.m. IST (10.30 p.m. NZT, 9.30 a.m. GMT, 4.30 a.m. ET) start. There will be no live coverage of the match on TV or online.
The ICC website, however, will provide live score updates and commentary.