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This will be the first game of the mega event which is being hosted by India.
Last time they met in a 50-over World Cup contest in 2019, England came out on top and former skipper Eoin Morgan lifted the trophy.
This time around, things are a tad different.
Buttler is leading the Englishmen whereas Williamson is set to miss the tournament opener as he is still recovering from a limb injury he aggravated in the last season of the Indian Premier League.
Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham will lead the side in the first game.
Cricket World Cup 2023 Pitch Report
A conclusive pitch report for October 5 hasn’t yet been compiled with still a few days to go for the World Cup opener.
However, the Ahmedabad ground is renowned for being one of the best batting surfaces in India.
Fast bowlers are generally able to extract some pace and bounce, but there’s not much on the plate for orthodox spinners.
Likes of Lockie Ferguson and Mark Wood will make the most of the conditions, but the overall condition is termed“batting friendly”.
Ball comes on the bat quite nicely at the Narendra Modi stadium so teams chasing big totals will have a fair chance of reaching the target no matter how big it seems
Cricket Players to Look Out For
Both sides are filled with match winners who can take the game away within a matter of balls, but some names stand head and shoulders above others.
Livingston’s inclusion in the ODI side has only added to the English firepower, as if they did not have enough power hitters in the form of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Johnny Bairstow.
Time and again, the batting all-rounder has shown how he can make the ball disappear into the crowd, often outside of the stadiums too.
Livingston has a knack for punishing the bowlers in the final overs, regardless of the format of the white-ball circuit.
He averages almost 40 in ODIs, which is best in any format. With a healthy strike rate of 116, his presence in the middle order will allow other batters at the top to play freely as well.
Mitchell, 32, has been on a roll for the Kiwis in ODIS ever since his debut against Bangladesh in 2021.
With a close face of his bat and an unorthodox grip of the bat, Mitchell has taken on the best bowling attacks in the world in recent times.
His recent encounters against Pakistan in the away series showed how easily he was able to deal with the likes of Haris Rauf, Ihsanullah and Shaheen Shah Afridi, smacking them over the ropes at will.
For someone who has become NZ’s man of crisis in the middle order in such a short period, Mitchell will be a player to keep an eye on not just in the opening game, but throughout the tournament.
In only 26 ODI innings, the veteran player has got three centuries, four half-centuries. He averages 46.6 with a strike rate of 92.
Stokes is back in the team, withdrawing his retirement from ODIs. And the elite all-rounder made a sensational 182 against NZ just weeks before coming to India, in a home series.
The star of the World Cup 2019 final is in the form of his life and seems ready to terrorize the bowlers again.
He averages 40.5 with the bat, and amassed 74 wickets in 108 ODIs he has featured in.
The 32-year-old all-rounder is known for delivering the goods for England in big, pressure games and it doesn’t get any bigger than the ICC World Cup.
With an all-rounder like Stokes back in the team, Buttler has his weaponry brimmed to the top.
Phillips has gradually turned himself into a dependable all-rounder whenever the Black Caps have asked for someone to ball spin in the middle overs, but that’s not what’s primarily known for.
The 26-year-old is a pure striker of the ball, who first made his mark in T20Is before being launched in the 50-over games.
With only 20 ODIs under his belt, Phillips doesn’t have an extensive resume, but those who have seen him in T20Is know how lethal he can be in the final overs. He will have a similar role in ODIs as he has in the 20-over contests.
Other than that, he’s an astonishing fielder who lives up the New Zealand’s standards of fielding.
With a high backlift and lighting swing of the bat, Phillips will be one batter Buttler’s men will look to dismiss as early as they can.
Wood is someone you want to avoid, not just in matches, but in nets as well. The right-arm quick is arguably the fastest bowler in the world right now.
Regardless of the format, Wood knows how to terrorize the batters.
Pitches in India may not be as bouncy as they are back home for Wood, but he still has enough pace to bamboozle the best batters in the game.
With his ability to click 150km/h regularly, Wood is one of the most probable performers for the Thursday game.
He has already racked up 71 wickets in 59 games in ODIs, flaunting a meager 5.4 economy.
England vs New CWC 2023 Zealand Prediction
England beat NZ 3-1 in the four-match ODI series at home, days before both sides flew to India to prepare for the World Cup.
With the recent record favouring them in both series and ICC events, Jos Buttler’s men will have the upper hand on Kane Wiliamson’s unit.
The defending champions seem to have all of their basis covered, just like the last mega event held at their home turf.
Whether they bowl or bat first, the Englishmen know how to set and chase big totals so this should not really be an issue for them.
On the other hand, NZ are not at their best. They defeated Pakistan quite handsomely in the warm-up game, chasing over 300 runs with a handful of overs to go, but England are favourites to defend their title, for a reason.