Millennium Post

Deflated England up against rampaging Kiwis

Deflated England up against rampaging Kiwis
England could not have thought of a more nightmarish start to their World Cup campaign as Australia inflicted a humiliating 111-run defeat on them. The way Aaron Finch, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell tore apart England’s bowling unit at the MCG, a lot will depend on how skipper Eoin Morgan and his men recover from the morale-shattering loss.

New Zealand, on the other hand, are already in touching distance of a quarterfinal berth after two consecutive wins. After a convincing 98-run win against the 1996 champions Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in the tournament opener, Brendon McCullum and his men beat Scotland by three wickets in their second game. For England, running into the co-hosts after facing Australia makes it all the more difficult as they are aware another slip-up would kill their chance of going further.

The onus thus will be on skipper Eoin Morgan to lift England’s spirit and give their batting a boost, especially since he has scored abysmally low, just two runs in five innings, in the run-up to the tournament so far.

Shoehorned into captaincy after Alastair Cook’s axing, Morgan will have to lead from the front to inspire his team when it takes the field at the Westpac Stadium on Friday. “He’s aware of the fact that he wants more runs and it’s important for the team that he plays his part. He thinks about his own game. He knows his strengths. So the onus of responsibility is on him because of his experience,” England’s batting coach Mark Ramprakash said.

Needless to say, New Zealand are the strong favourites going into the game on Friday but the way the co-hosts struggled to score 143 against Scotland in their last match, the co-hosts will have to sort their batting woes.
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