Blackcaps v England - it's finally here!
Thursday, 7 February 2013
Colin Munro hit 55 in the New Zealand XI's loss in the first game
It’s a series that New Zealand cricket fans have been anticipating for some time – the arrival of the English to play three T20, ODI and test matches over the next two months.
The series kicks off this Saturday night at Eden Park with the first T20 clash and all the signs are good for a great start to the series. The weather looks like it will play its part, the New Zealand XI added to the mix by downing the English yesterday and pre-sales for the game are looking very healthy meaning that a big crowd could be in attendance.
So what are the Blackcaps chances? Well, predicting Twenty20 cricket is sometimes akin to predicting weather in Auckland but the signs shown by the team in South Africa in the shorter forms of the game seem to indicate that it will be a highly competitive series.
The side named for this series has something of the old with the new feel about it with the inclusion of young Otago opener Hamish Rutherford and names that have only recently become part of the Blackcaps scene in Mitchell McClenaghan and Colin Munro. On the flip side of that is the return of Ian Butler and Grant Elliott and of course the one everyone is talking about – Ross Taylor coming back in.
And what of their opposition? Well there are a number of names that might not be instantly recognisable to many and a few missing that might make people wonder where they are. However England showed in Whangarei that they have talent in depth in the twenty20 arena with Eion Morgan and Jos Butler showing impressive form with the bat and skipper Stuart Broad proving that he’s fully fit and on top of his game with a hat-trick in the first game.
Predictions are always fraught with danger but we’re going to put our money where our mouth is and say that the Blackcaps will get a 2-1 series win in the T20’s kicking off with a win on Saturday night at Eden Park.
There’s been plenty of pre-sales for tonight’s game so you might want to get on to Ticketek to get a good seat for what should be a cracking match. Don’t forget you can get some great discounts if you buy tickets for the T20 and ODI or all three matches at Eden Park at the same time.
Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Ian Butler, Grant Elliott, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Roneel Hira, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Ross Taylor
Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson
Stuart Broad (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Stuart Meaker, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright
Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, James Harris, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes
Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes