When England exited the 2015 version with an embarrassing defeat by Bangladesh, few have been tipping them as potential champions in 4 years’ time.
As England captain Eoin Morgan put it, “If you happen to had provided us the place to play in a closing the day after we have been knocked out of the 2015 World Cup, I’d have laughed at you.”
One particular person not laughing was Andrew Strauss, the previous England director of cricket.
Drafted into the newly created function, Strauss set about an overhaul that noticed the previous England captain appoint Australia’s Trevor Bayliss as coach, and place better emphasis on white-ball cricket.
The value of all that work confirmed when Morgan’s males, now prime of the one-day worldwide rankings, thrashed reigning champions Australia by eight wickets within the semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Lots of the components that made England the pre-tournament favourites have been on present in Birmingham.
Pacemen Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes diminished Australia to 14-3, leg-spinner Adil Rashid took wickets within the center and the dynamic duo of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow — statistically probably the most profitable opening pair in ODI historical past — launched the run chase with a blistering century partnership.
The problem for England is to embrace the hype surrounding Sunday’s fixture with out letting it inhibit them from enjoying their model of “fearless” cricket.
By reaching the ultimate, England have assured a world match can be proven stay on free-to-air tv in Britain for the primary time for the reason that iconic 2005 Ashes sequence — an opportunity to encourage a brand new era.
“I believe Sunday’s not a day to draw back from, it is a day to stay up for,” stated Morgan, an outrider in English cricket in turning into an ODI specialist when the steely Dubliner realised his Check profession had stalled.
It’s maybe applicable that England are going through New Zealand in a closing between two sides who’ve but to win the World Cup.
For it was the Black Caps who confirmed England the best way to play the trendy one-day recreation on the 2015 version in Wellington 4 years in the past.
They shot out England for simply 123 after which overhauled that complete in a mere 12.2 overs.
“It was as near rock-bottom as I have been”, stated Morgan. “Actually as a captain and as a participant, being overwhelmed off the park like that was humiliating.”
England gained a measure of revenge with a 119-run thrashing of New Zealand in a group-stage match earlier on this World Cup.
However that’s unlikely to rely for a lot on Sunday.
All match lengthy, the identical remark has been made about New Zealand — they boast a well-balanced assault led by left-arm fast Trent Boult however are over-reliant on captain Kane Williamson and fellow senior batsman Ross Taylor for his or her runs.
The well mannered Kiwis have responded by persevering with to “scrap”, within the phrase of quick bowler Lockie Ferguson, their option to wins as demonstrated by their dramatic 18-run semi-final victory over India.
Boult and Matt Henry diminished one of many world’s strongest prime orders to 5-3, earlier than left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, aided by excellent fielding, backed them up after Williamson and Taylor had made battling fifties on a tough pitch.
Whereas many members of the house facet weren’t even born when England made the final of three shedding appearances in a World Cup closing in 1992, the Black Caps have the expertise of their heavy defeat by co-hosts Australia within the climax of the 2015 version in Melbourne to name on.
“I would be mendacity if I stated we weren’t a bit overawed by the change of surroundings,” stated Taylor as he seemed again to New Zealand’s first and solely match on Australian soil in that match.
“I believe we all know what to anticipate, the pressures that include it, we have been there earlier than. You simply must take pleasure in it, it is the ‘Residence of Cricket’, I can not consider a greater place to play a closing.”