T20 World Cup, England vs New Zealand: Key player battles
England and New Zealand gear up to face each other in the first semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi. Both teams played solid cricket in the Super 12s and there is plenty of character in both sides. One expects a fine contest between bat and ball as the top players would want to make their presence felt.
- It's a semi-final game and the winner will book a berth in the final.
- We have two teams who are balanced across departments.
- The game could be dictated by the finest of margins.
- The start for both teams will be crucial and that's where a lot could be determined.
- Whichever side sets the tone right and negotiates the offerings better can gain big.
England pacer Chris Jordan has a crucial task ahead of him to keep Kane Williamson quiet. Jordan, who has claimed 79 T20I scalps, is vastly experienced and will be aiming to mix things up. Williamson knows his trades and will be trying to bat long. As per Cricketpedia, Williamson has scored 14 runs off 14 balls by Jordan. He has been dismissed once.
England opener Jos Buttler has amassed 240 runs (second-highest) in the ongoing T20 World Cup. He has an astronomical average of 120.00. Buttler can attack New Zealand's new-ball bowlers and set the tone. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult will look to get Buttler early. Boult has claimed 11 wickets at 10.45. Buttler has managed to score 22 runs off 12 balls by Boult (zero dismissals).
England have seen Jason Roy get ruled out with an injury and that means Jonny Bairstow is likely to open alongside Buttler. Bairstow has struggled so far in the tournament and can be vulnerable. Veteran Tim Southee will look to exploit Bairstow's weakness and strike early. Bairstow has managed to score 14 runs off 15 balls by Southee, who has dismissed the former once.
Moeen Ali is a vital cog for England at number three. He has all the attributes to change the complexion of the game with his powerful strokes. Moeen will need to be wary of an in-form Ish Sodhi. The Kiwi spinner has eight wickets in the tournament and is bowling well. Moeen hasn't faced Sodhi yet in T20Is and this promises to be exciting.