|England vs New Zealand, 1st Semi-Final, T20 World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Semi-Final 1|
England vs New Zealand, 1st Semi-Final, T20 World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Semi-Final 1
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson lauded England’s depth as a Twenty20 side and said they would be strong opponents in Thursday’s (1am AEDT) World Cup semi-final despite injuries to key players.
Both teams have won four games each of their five in the Super 12 stage and fight for a final spot in a game that brings back memories of their dramatic 2019 50-over World Cup final won by England only on a boundary count after a super over.
England takes on New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup semi-finals on Thursday (1am AEDT) on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today.
Buttler, with 240 runs, is the second-highest run-getter in T20 World Cup, 2021. He is the only batsman to hit a century in this tournament so far. Buttler has smashed 13 sixes so far which is also the most by a batsman in this World Cup.
62.5% of his runs have come in boundaries so far (150/240) and the fearsome opener is on the threshold of breaking several England records in T20 World Cup history. The Kiwis need to plan well as Buttler has scored 176 runs in 8 innings, including a fifty while batting at number 6, against them. He has an average of 35.20 and a strike rate of 155.75 against the Kiwis, which is the best among all the teams he has played against in T20Is.
The Kiwis have since clinched the inaugural world Test championship this year and have performed consistently well across all formats.
Eoin Morgan’s England have been the team to beat in the competition but injuries to fast bowler Tymal Mills and Jason Roy struck further blows to an England squad that came into the tournament without star men Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
“It’s a real shame that they have suffered injuries in this competition. But I think one of the strengths as well of the England side is their depth that they’ve managed to produce over a period of time,” Williamson told reporters.
Recent Venue Records (Sheikh Zayed Stadium) Stats- T20
Total Matches- 61
Matches won batting first- 27
Matches won bowling first- 34
Average 1st innings score- 141
Average 2nd innings score- 128
Highest total recorded- 225/7 (20 Ov) by IRE vs AFG
Lowest total recorded- 84/10 (18.2 Ov) by BAN vs RSA
Highest score chased- 166/6 (19.4 Ov) by HK vs AFG
Lowest score defended- 129/6 (20 Ov) by ENG vs PAK
New Zealand’s strength has been their pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee who have rattled the opposition with their early strikes in the group stages.
Boult and Southee share 18 wickets between them and lead a disciplined New Zealand bowling attack that has complemented their batting.
“They’ve been brilliant. They’ve been involved in the team in all formats for a long time and really experienced operators for us,” Williamson said of the pace pair.
“They’ve been doing a fantastic job for us, really leading our attack who have been performing well and adjusting well to the different surfaces that we’ve been on. And a real strength on our side.”
“That has been a bit of a challenge for me personally. And the balance between the loading of the elbow and things like that to try and stay as fresh as possible for the game,” he said.
“So it’s a bit of a delicate balance to get my head around. I certainly look forward to the day that it’s gone and I don’t have to worry too much about it.”
England also beat the Black Caps in the semi-finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup and then got past them in another Super Over decider in 2019.
One way to stop this juggernaut could be to introduce spin early as Buttler likes the ball coming onto his bat and is severe against fast bowlers in the powerplay. While he is also a good player of spin, the slow pace could force him to go for shots and that could play in the hands of the Kiwis.
Ish Sodhi is the ideal candidate for a face-off with Buttler. The leggie will spin the ball away from the right-handed Buttler and could make scoring difficult. Sodhi has dismissed Buttler twice in the past too.