“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” (from Henry V, spoken by King Henry). This surely is the beginning of the team talk from Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss in the Lords Dressing Room tomorrow morning. It’s been some journey for Eoin Morgan.
From the square at Kenure to a World Cup Final is some achievement, and in the final throws of Brexit, maybe it shows England that they can’t do without some Irish leadership.
So, after 47 games, 353 Sixes and 656 Wickets, we have arrived at the ICC World Cup Final. For England, it’s been 27 years since their last World Cup final which ended in defeat to Pakistan. For New Zealand, it’s a shot at redemption after losing the World Cup Final to Australia four year ago.
Both teams have had their up’s and downs during the group stage. England had three defeats while New Zealand have lost twice. It’s probably fair to say that England saved their best performance for the semi-final when routing Australia. Credit has to be given to New Zealand too, who came back from the dead against India, when trying to defend an almost impossible score of 240.
When you breakdown the teams, it’s hard not to see why England are favourites. They have the most explosive open partnership in Roy and Bairstow. They have the highest average (67.10) in the history of ODI cricket. This so often builds the platform for Root, Morgan and Buttler to put on big scores. As many predicted before the World Cup, Jofra Archer has been the final piece of the puzzle for England. His 90mph+ bowling has been the difference at the start and the end of an innings.
New Zealand aren’t without their World Class players. In Kane Williamson, they have one of the best batsmen on the planet.
He oozes talent and class, and he’s been excellent throughout the tournament. Trent Boult has rolled back the years with his bowling and his opening spell against India was a joy to behold. However, when you compare player with player, the numbers stack up in England’s favour. On paper and on the field, they are just the better team. They met in Durham 10 days ago, when England just blew them away. If England get off to a huge opening stand again, this game could be over as a contest before Lewis Hamilton gets on his victory lap in Silverstone.
With the game being live on Terrestrial TV (Channel 4) for the first time since the 2005 Ashes, the ICC are expecting huge viewing figures, and we could be hearing “Cricket’s Coming Home” ringing around the stands in Lords from early tomorrow morning. Here are the two bets we’re on for the game:
Bet: Chris Woakes – Top England Wicket Taker (7/2)
Bet: Jonny Bairstow – Man of the Match (8/1)