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  • Date: Thursday October 5, 09:30 BST
  • Location: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India
  • Teams: England vs New Zealand

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England and New Zealand to open World Cup in repeat of 2019 final


England are defending champions and are second favourites for the tournament behind the hosts, India. England may only be fifth in the current world rankings for ODI cricket, however, they come into the World Cup with a number of the players involved in the 2019 triumph and will be full of confidence after a series win over New Zealand.

England have been boosted by  the return of Ben Stokes from ODI retirement, but they will miss the services of Jofra Archer, their star bowler from the 2019 World Cup. Archer was not deemed fit enough after a stress fracture to the right elbow. However, he will be continuing his rehabilitation with the squad and has been named as an official reserve, so there is a small chance he could be involved later in the competition. On the eve of the New Zealand game Stokes has emerged as a doubt with a hip problem. His ODI retirement was due to a long-term knee problem which is currently preventing him from bowling. It is clear that England will have to manage his fitness, especially in the early stages of the competition.

England squad:

Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

New Zealand

New Zealand may not be among the favourites to win, however, they always seem to perform to their best in ICC competitions. They have been runners up in the last two ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups and will hope to upset the form book and go one better in 2023.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will miss the England match as he recovers from a knee injury. It was thought that Williamson would miss the tournament, however, he made sufficient progress to be named in the squad and turned out in a warm-up match against South Africa. It is thought that he will sit out of the England game and come into the side later in the tournament. All-rounder Michael Bracewell is unavailable due to an achilles injury.

New Zealand squad: 

Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.


New Zealand have a superb recent record in the World Cup and have just come from two competitive white ball series against England, drawing the Twenty20 series and losing out 3-1 in the ODI series. However, England will be buoyed by their ODI series win against the Kiwis and will be all well aware of their World Cup record, having faced them in the final in 2019, thus avoiding complacency. The bookies make England favourites and we expect them get get their defence of the trophy underway with a victory.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise