LONDON - England’s disappointing run in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup left many concerned and ahead of the five-match One-Day International series against New Zealand, its eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Brendon McCullum and Co during the World Cup game in Wellington was fresh in everyone’s minds.

Furthermore, New Zealand was coming off the high of a big win at Headingley that helped it draw the two-Test series 1-1. But the England that turned up at Edgbaston was a bold, new England, and that it emphatically turned the tables on New Zealand to seal its biggest win in ODIs by runs had former players, the media and fans gushing with excitement.

Eoin Morgan had spoken ahead of the match about the need to catch up in ODI cricket and his side responded beautifully, with Jos Buttler and Joe Root hitting blistering centuries to lift it to 408 for 9, a new record for England in ODIs.

Morgan’s return to form would have come as a big relief. The captain was instrumental in resurrecting the England innings with a fine half-century after it was dealt a couple of early blows.

match starts at 5:00 PM

England would also be pleased with the performance of Adil Rashid, the 27-year-old allrounder from Yorkshire. Rashid, batting at No. 8, smashed 69 off 50 balls to give the innings a good thrust towards the end. He then returned to take 4 for 55, that included the wickets of Kane Williamson and Luke Ronchi, while Steven Finn ended with figures of 4 for 35. 

The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup finalists are unlikely to press the panic button, but it will need to find a way of gathering itself quickly, which won’t be easy after a big loss. It had rested Tim Southee for the first game but with the bowling misfiring, he could return to the fold for the second ODI on Friday (June 12) at The Oval.

If New Zealand does go that route, one of Mitchell McClenaghan or Matt Henry will have to make way. McClenaghan was taken apart for 93 runs in his quota of overs, but the left-arm pacer has had a good last few months that included a successful Indian Premier League season. Additionally, he took four wickets in the lone tour game that preceded the series, and it is unlikely he will be left out after one off day. 

Trent Boult’s performance was one of the few positives for the side as he took 4 for 55. On the batting front, New Zealand can also take heart from the return to form of Ross Taylor. Taylor top-scored with 57 off 54 balls and hit a 62-ball 77 in the tour game. 

The home side has far less headaches. The likes of Jason Roy, the opening batsman, and Sam Billings, who made his international debut in the first ODI, didn’t have memorable outings, but they’re likely to be persisted with.

While momentum is firmly with the England at the moment, it will be wary nonetheless as New Zealand look to prove that its performance at Edgbaston was an aberration. And with four matches left in the series, both sides will be aware that momentum can change rapidly.


ENGLAND: Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, David Willey, Mark Wood.

NEW ZEALAND: Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mutchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Ben Wheeler.