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England Twins? England v New Zealand Preview

Eoin Morgan could name the first pair of twins to ever play for England in tomorrow’s 4th England v New Zealand One Day International at Trent Bridge. Following injuries that have caused Liam Plunkett and Chris Jordan to pull out of the rest of the series, Somerset’s Craig Overton was first to be drafted in as back-up before Sunday’s three-wicket defeat to New Zealand. England’s bowling was once again expensive and lacked ‘punch’ though, so yesterday it was confirmed that fellow Somerset man and brother, Jamie, had also joined Craig in the squad as Eoin Morgan aimed to bolster his bowling options.

Jamie, 21, has featured in the ODI squad before, but only as twelfth man during England’s 2-1 series defeat against Australia in 2013. Despite his call-up, brother Craig had much the same story on Sunday, so both could be in line to make their full England debut together.

Elsewhere in the bowling department, Mark Wood will be looking to continue his fine start to the English summer by adding wickets to his armoury after another impressive and economical performance last Sunday. Steven Finn’s one wicket in two matches has certainly dampened his series following the electric 4-35 that he took at Edgbaston at the start of the month: the Middlesex quick could be one of the fallers if the Overton’s get their chance.

For Adil Rashid, well the pitches have certainly not been helpful for turn, but just one wicket all series will still be a massive disappointment for the Yorkshire leggy. With Moeen Ali still on County duty with Worcestershire, Rashid looks to have the backing from the selectors at the moment, but his performances will have to improve if he is to keep his place for the Australia series later this summer. Ben Stokes will, as he does in the Test arena, continue to leak runs, but he takes valuable wickets at valuable times and with his batting capabilities there for all to see, expect the Durham boy to be a regular in this England side for years to come.

To the batting and Jason Roy will be crying out for a score tomorrow having made just 48 runs all series. Roy, 24, clearly has bags of ability and showed that for the most part through 2014. He fits the description as far as ODI opening bats go, so it is surely only a matter of time before he is back scoring big runs. The whole nation was left aghast when Joe Root was caught for just six at The Oval last week, so it was reassuring to see England’s leading run scorer in 2015 pass 50 again on Sunday – even if he could add only four more. Root will again be New Zealand’s prize wicket tomorrow.

The sight of any England captain scoring runs is a joy to behold, but Eoin Morgan’s recent return to form has been particularly uplifting. Morgan, 28, couldn’t buy a run at the World Cup and England’s team performances only added to the disappointment; it appeared his confidence had hit at an all-time low. Yet to see him bounce back with fifty’s in each of the games this series, accumulating 209 runs from just 175 balls and looking very close to his absolute best, is wonderful viewing for many a cricket fan.

The news that Trent Boult will miss the remainder of the tour should have been music to the ears of the England players, but if Ben Wheeler’s debut is to go by anything, it looks as if New Zealand have enough quality to still cause problems. Targeting McClenaghan and Henry will continue to be a tactic for England’s batsmen, who will again look to score 400 if they bat first, but will they learn from Sunday’s embarrassing collapse if things start to turn rough?


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