The finalists of the last ICC Cricket World Cup, England and New Zealand will face each other in the opening match on Thursday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad. Interestingly, the two teams were on the same ground for a World Cup opener nearly three decades ago.
With an air of history surrounding the encounter in Ahmedabad, few will recollect the 1996 Wills World Cup. New Zealand had defeated England by a slim margin of 11 runs at the ground then known as the Sardar Patel Stadium.
Head To Head
England and New Zealand have played each other 95 times in the 50-over One Day International (ODI) format. Their head-to-head record shows that both are inseparable with England bagging 45 wins and New Zealand 44. On four occasions, the matches did not yield any results, while two matches ended in ties.
Back in the 2019 final, England had won the title by the boundary-count rule after Super Over, as the match had also finished in a tie.
The Narendra Modi Stadium pitch will favor bowlers, The winning skipper is expected to choose to bowl first. The pitch will be challenging for batters with pacers particularly enjoying some seam and swing especially at the beginning of the match. The average first innings score is 212.
Ahmedabad is expected to be hot and humid today with temperatures soaring as high as 35 degrees and humidity rising up to 73 per cent. Chances of rain are minimal, according to Weather.com.
England will be looking to defend their title. Google’s win probability indicates that England has a 64 per cent chance of winning the match, while New Zealand had 36 per cent win percentage. All signs point towards an England win.