The fourth T20I between New Zealand and England will be played at McLean Park on Friday, November 8th 2019. The two teams have now met each other in 18 completed T20Is, with England winning 11 of those games. Prior to this series, England enjoyed an upper hand over New Zealand in New Zealand winning five out of the seven games between the two sides. But the Kiwis have narrowed down the gap as they currently lead the series 2-1.
Ground Detail and Pitch Combination:
This will only be the second T20I played at McLean Park. The ground has hosted four domestic T20 games since the start of 2017 where the average batting run-rate is 9.2 runs per over, one of the highest across all grounds in New Zealand. Batsmen have scored at an average of 28.7 runs per wicket during the aforementioned time period while a wicket has fallen only every 18.6 deliveries. Though the sample size is small, it can be said that McLean Park has one of the better batting grounds in the country.
The numbers speak heavily in favour of the batsmen at this venue. Hence, batsmen and batting all-rounders are the best option for this contest. A combination of five frontline batsmen, two all-rounders, one spinner and three pacers could be ideal for your XI.
Amongst bowlers, spinners have fared better at this venue having picked wickets every 18.1 deliveries as compared to 19.4 by their pace bowling counterparts since the start of 2017. Leg-spinners have been the most effective breed here in T20s over the past three years having returned a wicket every 7.2 balls. While the likes of Ish Sodhi, Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson have not have been able to create much of an impact so far in the series, that narrative could change come Friday.
James Vince hasn’t always been a regular in the England setup but he is fast becoming a key asset at the top of the order. He is the highest run-scorer so far this series with 109 runs in three outings striking at an impressive 134.6. Vince has had a terrific season too having scored 1071 runs in 35 T20 games this year, which includes eight half-centuries. The Napier surface should also suit his style of play and England will be hoping Vince comes good once again.
As a move to build a prominent team for the T20 World Cup next year, the New Zealand management has promoted Colin de Grandhomme to number four and the heavily built all-rounder has seemed to be enjoying the new role. Batting seven times at four this year in T20Is, de Grandhomme has scored 235 runs at a strike-rate of 154.6, the highest amongst all number fours this year. As a result, he is also enjoying his best batting year in T20I cricket, scoring 288 runs at an average of 32. Given the conditions in McLean Park which are suitable for power-hitting, de Grandhomme can once again be dangerous for England and fruitful for your Fantasy XI.
Chris Jordan has been an underrated star in England’s T20 bowling-up. The highest wicket-taker for them in T20Is since 2018, Jordan was rested for the third T20I as a part of England’s rotational policy in this series. He has picked five wickets in two games in this series at an economy of 6.4 runs per over. England missed him as New Zealand raced to a total of 180 despite an unproductive spell of death overs for them. Moreover, his services with the bat were also missed. Jordan scored 36 off 19 balls in the second T20I and a similar kind of innings in the third game where England collapsed to lose five wickets for 10 runs could have led the match to different result. With the series on the line, there is a good chance he will be called back into the XI.
After a great year in T20I cricket last year, Martin Guptill found it tough to get going in 2019. Scores of 1, 11 and 2 did not do justice to his talent but the right-handed batsman looked in fine touch in the last two games. Guptill scored 44 off 28 balls in the second T20I and followed it up with an eye-catching 33 off 17 balls in the third T20I. Considering the batting friendly nature of the McLean Park track, Guptill, an opening batsman can have a menacing effect on the opposition bowlers if he bats long and can single-handedly decide the fate of your Fantasy XI.
The weather in Napier is expected to be partly cloudy on the match day but the rain is expected to stay away from the contest.
Suggested FanFight Team:
Tom Banton, Martin Guptill, Jonny Bairstow, James Vince (c), Eoin Morgan, Colin de Grandhomme (vc), Mitchell Santner, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner