England will lock horns with New Zealand in the first ODI of the five-match series at Edgbaston on Tuesday. After an exciting short Test series, which ended in stalemate, both the sides would look to clinch this ODI series.
The Kiwis are surely the favourites in this ODI series as England have struggled in the shorter format of the game in recent times. The conventional hosts were ousted from the ICC World Cup 2015 first round itself and that included a thrashing from the Black Caps when the latter handed the former with an eight-wicket defeat in Wellington, New Zealand.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the ODI squad for this series last week and they have surprisingly left out some big names like Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ian Bell and Moeen Ali.
Instead, ECB have gone on to pick youngsters who has done well in the county season. David Willey, Mark Wood, Jason Roy and James Taylor are the new entries into this England squad led by Eoin Morgan. They also have some big hitters in their squad like Alex Hales, Ben Stokes and wicket keeper Jos Buttler in the lower middle order. If any of these batsmen starts finding the sweet spot of the willow, then they can cause some severe damage.
Meanwhile for New Zealand, Brendon McCullum is likely to draw most of the eyeballs. The entire cricketing fraternity is aware of what McCullum is capable of in the shorter format. He can rip apart any bowling attack in the world in no time. Martin Guptill, who hit a double century during the ICC World Cup 2015 would look to make some significant contribution in this ODI series. Ross Taylor had said earlier this week that he is raring to score some runs for his side. Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott will also add stability to the Kiwi lower middle order.
As England will be missing the services of their big bowling guns like Broad and Anderson, Steven Finn, Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett have to step up and don those big shoes and deliver for their side. On the other hand, the Kiwis will be happy to have Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan. McClenaghan had a wonderful Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) with league champions Mumbai Indians and would look to deliver similar kind of performances for his nation in this what is to be believed, an exciting ODI series.
Former England cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham feels that the upbeat visitors are going to snatch the series from England by 4-1.
"I hope I'm proven wrong but my gut feeling, having watched this New Zealand side over the last few years – is that they will win comfortably. We didn't come close to them in the World Cup and I don't see that changing much in this series," Botham told Sky Sports on Monday.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Alex Hales, Jos Buttler (wk), Jason Roy, James Taylor, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Steven Finn, Liam Plunkett, David Willey.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi (wk), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Matt Henry.
Where to watch live:
England vs New Zealand 1st ODI is scheduled for a 2:00 pm BST (6:30 pm IST, 9:00 am ET, 1 am NZ time) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD 2. The match can also be watched via live streaming online on Starsports.com.
Viewers in the UK can watch England vs New Zealand Live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2, while the live stream option is on Watch Sky Sports.