The fifth and final encounter between New Zealand and England will be held at Eden Park, in Auckland. The two teams have now met each other in 20 T20Is, with England winning 12 of those games. In the last five games as well, England have the lead having won three of the games. The series is tantalisingly poised at 2 games all and both sides will be gunning for the final prize in Auckland.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Runs have been the theme at Eden Park. In all, 19 T20 Internationals have been played at this venue, with 172 the average first innings score. That has gone up even more in the last two years.
Since the start of 2018, in five T20Is, the average run rate at this ground is 9.4, one of the highest across all venues in New Zealand. The average first innings score also reads a high 186. The 65 m straight and 68 m square boundaries certainly don’t help bowlers and a side packed with power-hitters should be the way to go for this game.
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 batting all-rounders, one spinner and three pacers could be ideal for your XI.
Amongst bowlers both pacers and spinners have the same strike rate of a wicket in every 18.2 balls since the start of 2018. So a balanced bowling unit is imperative.
Diving further into the different bowling techniques, slow left-arm orthodox spinners have been the most effective here, having picked wickets every 14.4 balls since the start of 2018. Mitchell Santner has easily been the pick of the bowlers across both sides and can be a useful pick on this surface.
Leg-spinners have also done well in Auckland and someone like Matt Parkinson, who returned four wickets in the third game, can get you useful points.
Eoin Morgan was in his elements in Napier as he slammed his way to an effortless 91. On a surface where batting has generally been a dream, Morgan might fetch you those important points. His record in 2019 has also been impeccable. The England captain has slammed 592 runs in 17 T20 games this year, striking at a phenomenal 169.1.
After a great year in T20I cricket last year, Martin Guptill found it tough to get going in 2019. But the right-handed batsman has looked in fine touch in the last three games. Guptill is the highest run-scorer at Eden Park with 458 runs in 11 outings. His highest T20I score of 105 also was recorded at this venue last year. Considering the batting friendly nature of Eden Park, 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.
Chris Jordan has been an underrated star in England’s T20 bowling-up. He is the second-highest wicket-taker so far this series and despite missing the third game has had an impact all through. Jordan is the leading wicket-taker for England since the start of 2018 in this format. In addition, his services with the bat are also of great help in the death overs. With all to play for in Auckland, Jordan might turn out to be the X-factor for England and your fantasy team.
Mitchell Santner has easily been the best bowler across both sides in this series. Even with the batters going hammer and tongs, Santner has kept his composure and been rewarded. He is the highest wicket-taker for new Zealand since the start of 2018 and leads the wickets charts in this series as well. At a venue where left-arm spinners have had success in the past, Santner might help you collect some important points.
What could, however, deter the two sides is the weather. There is rain forecast in Auckland on Sunday and we could have a truncated match at our disposal. The temperature is expected to hover in the lower 20s range.
Suggested FanFight Team
James Vince, Tom Banton (wk), Martin Guptill, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner (vc), Matt Parkinson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Chris Jordan