In Stats: World Cup Final Against Kiwis Will be England’s to Lose
A new world champion will be crowned on Sunday, 14 July. Neither New Zealand nor England, who clash in the final of ICC World Cup 2019 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, have won the cup previously.
England have competed in three finals without ever managing to lay their hands on the trophy, while New Zealand were blown away in their only appearance in a World Cup final in 2015.
England were favourites to win the title prior to the start of the competition, and Eoin Morgan’s team go into the title clash as favourites too. The hosts were tested en route to the final – suffering losses to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stages, but sailed through a must-win situation to make the title clash.
New Zealand have had a rollercoaster of a tournament too; they won five matches in a row (and earned one point from the abandoned group match against India), before hitting a slippery patch that saw them lose three matches straight. But sneaked into the semi-finals, where they ousted a very strong Indian side to make it to the finals.
Here’s a round-up of the two teams’ performances so far in the competition:
England hold the edge on the batting front; their openers – Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have been sensational, while New Zealand’s openers have generally struggled to provide the team meaningful starts. In the last three matches, Roy and Bairstow have stitched together partnerships of 124, 123 & 160, while the Blackcaps’ opening pair of Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls has only managed partnerships of 1, 2 & 29.
Individually too, where Roy and Bairstow have managed more than 400 runs each, all the three openers New Zealand have used put together have only scored a total of 328 runs in the competition.
There’s very little that separates the two teams in the context of the batsmen who occupy the number three and four positions.
For England, Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan have been solid, while Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have done the job just as well – if not better – for the Blackcaps.
Yet another difference between the two sides is the performance of the batsmen batting at numbers five, six and seven. England’s lower middle-order has scored plenty of impact runs in the competition, while New Zealand’s lower middle-order – comprising James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Latham – has scored a decent number of runs, but without causing too much damage.
The overall strike rate of England’s numbers 5, 6 and 7 in WC 2019 is 103.87, while New Zealand’s lower middle-order has scored at a strike rate of 83.89.
There’s very little that separates the pace bowling department of the two teams too. Where New Zealand’s quicks have picked up a wicket every five overs on an average, England’s pacers have struck once every 32 deliveries.
The ones who stand out among the pack of fast bowlers on both sides are Jofra Archer (England) and Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand). Both players have tested the speed guns and have caused plenty of damage; Archer – on World Cup debut – has registered England’s best haul in a World Cup, while Ferguson has 18 wickets to his name.
From just a statistics point of view, it is sensational to note that England have struck early consistently. The opening partnerships against England in the last 8 matches read: 4, 2, 8, 123, 3, 4, 4 and 8.
If things play out according to trends, you should expect:
- Roy and Bairstow to run amok,
- Joe Root to play another solid innings,
- England’s middle-order to blitz away,
- Trent Boult to have a fair degree of success on the Lord’s slope,
- England’s pacers to send one of the Blackcaps openers packing early,
- Kane Williamson to hold fort once again,
- And finally, England to win and be crowned World Cup winners.