It is finally here! The most awaited day in the sporting calendar of the sport of Cricket is now finally upon us. Today the cricketing world will witness the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Traditional cricketing giants such as the inventors of the game itself England (who have never in fact till date never won even a single World Cup tournament, which they had introduced to the world) are set to take on the Kiwis, New Zealand.
It is interesting and should be noted that even New Zealand, just like England have never won the Cricket World Cup. There is also a concern of this beautiful sport’s popularity gradually declining in both these countries over the years and currently, it is at an all time low. Thus, winning the World Cup is essential for both of them, not just because they want that first time taste of winning it, but also to save the sport from extinction in both these great nations and rekindle their fans’ interest in the game.
Both these teams have had largely successful tournament campaigns so far and have only suffered the occasional set backs. However, they are in good form now having defeated the mighty giants like Australia and India in the semi finals to get to this point. Thus, they are unlikely to change their winning combinations and will stick with the same sides that they played in the previous match.
Predicted Starting XIs:
England: Jason Roy, Johnny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Butler (WK), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (WK), James Neesham, Colin De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry.
England has arguably the most well drilled and well-balanced side in the world of cricket currently, and both their bowling as well as their batting can make a legitimate claim of being the best in the world. On the other hand, New Zealand’s strong suit has been their bowling, while their batting has been a point of concern. However, in the match against India, on a difficult track against some of the world’s best bowlers, their batsmen managed to outperform and outscore even their Indian counterparts.
While on paper, the English side seems much stronger and they have already beaten the Kiwis once before in the group stages of the tournament, it will be a fool’s errand to underestimate New Zealand.
We have witnessed before that in such big final games, anything can happen and everyone does love a good David and Goliath story.
My final prediction for this match is, that England will actually finally bring the World Cup back home!