Cricket World Cup final preview and prediction: England and New Zealand on verge of history, History will be made at Lord’s on Sunday when England face New Zealand in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Final
Team : England vs New Zealand
Date : Sunday, July 14, 2019
Start Time : 5:30 AM ET
Venue : Lord’s
Cricket World Cup Final Live
England have been the best one-day team on the planet over the last four years and thrashed New Zealand in the group stage. But form, previous results and reputation do not count for much in a World Cup final.
While not firing on all cylinders, Williamson’s New Zealand are a dangerous side, and one that will relish the opportunity to produce another upset on the biggest stage of them all.
But, when everything clicks, England are almost unbeatable. No team has come close to reaching their level since the 2015 World Cup. The question is, can they deliver when it matters most?
After seven weeks and 47 games, only two teams – both yet to lift this coveted trophy – are left standing.
England threatened to become World Cup champions countless times during the tournament’s infant years, reaching three finals and two semi-finals in the first five editions.
Ultimate glory has continued to evade them, however, and this is a feeling New Zealand can certainly identify with, having qualified for the final for only the second time in 12 attempts.
For England, Sunday’s final represents the culmination of four years of hard work.
English one-day cricket reached its nadir in 2015 when a team playing outdated and ultimately poor cricket crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage.
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The transformation since that tournament has been stunning. Eoin Morgan, Trevor Bayliss and Andrew Strauss have collaborated to convert England from one-day no-hopers to the best team in the world.
England soared to the top of the ICC rankings but, more significantly, changed the game by breaking record after record and utterly demolishing the majority of their opponents.
England crashed out of the 2015 World Cup at the group stage
England crashed out of the 2015 World Cup at the group stage (Picture: Getty)
And then, as often happens when a World Cup comes around, things began to go awry. Successive defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia left England’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals hanging by a thread.
This is not England’s best-ever one-day team for no reason, however, and they showed quality and resolve in equal measure to defeat New Zealand and India in their final two group games to finish third.
Facing World Cup kings and defending champions Australia in a first semi-final appearance since 1992 could have proved a stumbling block. Not so for this team.
An impressive and clinical eight-wicket win saw the hosts knock their Ashes rivals out and cruise into a first World Cup final in 27 years.
Following the retirement of former captain Brendon McCullum, the key figure of New Zealand cricket over the past decade, many feared for the future of the team.
It is not just his runs that have been key for the hosts. The manner in which he has made those runs – and his influence on the rest of the team – is also crucial. Roy and the in-form Jonny Bairstow have now made three 100-run opening partnerships in a row.