After a thumping victory in the first match at Edgbaston over visiting New Zealand, England will be upbeat in their second match at the Oval with 1-0 lead in a five match Royal London ODI series.
England in the first match scored their highest ever ODI total of 408 for nine breaking their previous highest total 391 for 4 in 2005 against Bangladesh.
England included only six players from their world cup squad in the last ODI, following their dismal World Cup performance Down Under. England were ousted from the world cup by Bangladesh from the group stage.
After sacking Peter Moores England is trying to build a bold team who can play aggressive cricket, different from their traditional approach. With interim coach Paul Frabrace at the helm, England would like to make three consecutive home matches, including the ODI victory over India in 2014 summer series when the host won a dead rubber before India wrapped series with a game to play.
The young England team lead by Eoin Morgan has no experienced player than the captain who himself has only 60 match of experience. The thing is that England is going through a transition phase. So, the Oval match will be another acid test for young English team as New Zealand will try to put up an empathetic show following their 198 run collapse at Edgbaston.
In the last match blasting centuries by Jose Buttler and Joe Root was the first glimpse of what England actually aiming to be. The quick fire 69 and four for 55 from Adil Rashid another positive point to note. His leg spin wreck havock on New Zealand batting line up. His leg spin takes a wicket after every 37 delivery. So the Pakistani origin man, who debuted for England in 2009, can stake his claim for the Ashes with another impressive outing.
During the Edgbaston match one of the mild blowing scalped of Rashid was Kane Williamson’s wicket when Kiwi batsman went down the pitch to Adil Rashid, was beaten in the flight, and scooped a leg-break to long-off.
Alongside Rashid, Steven Finn took four wickets for 35 runs.
The Oval pitch will be rather brown and likely assist spin. So, it is expected that England will put another good show.
But, here comes the vital question, will young England with less number of international exposures gets overpowered by a hungry for win New Zealand? The Kiwi team under dashing captain Brendon MacCullum will be keen to carry on with their owb brand of agressive cricket which they adopted in the world Cup. New Zealand have batsmen like Kane Williamson, Grant Elliot, Taylor and all-rounder Corey Anderson in their ranks, who are capable to cause nightmare for England.
New Zealand, who holds the 4-1 series lead over England in their past 5 ODI bilateral series, is not the team to give up easily. New Zealand have already shown their never-give up attitude during the two match Test series where they made a strong come back by beating England by 199 runs in the second Test at Leeds.
Don’t forget how Tim Southee had brought down England to mediocrity in Wellington during the world cup, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan can once again give chin music to the England batsmen. How English batsmen approach them will be a worth watching point of the match.
The last, but not the least the clash between fearless New Zealand and rejuvenated England will be a mouthwatering clash as the English soil has always been sporting.
Probable line-ups of England v New Zealand 2nd ODI:
England XI: JJ Roy, AD Hales, JE Root, EJG Morgan, Stokes, JC Buttler, SW Billings, AU Rashid, CJ Jordan, LE Plunkett, ST Finn
New Zealand XI: MJ Guptil, BB McCullum (c), KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor, GD Elliott, MJ Santner, L Ronchi, NL McCullum, T Southee, MJ McClenaghan, TA Boult