London: As the ICC Champions Trophy draws up to a close, England get ready for New Zealand challenge in a two-match Twenty20 series starting Tuesday at The Oval. After finishing runners-up, England are most likely to field a new team with most players being rested.
England will like to forget their five-run loss to India on Sunday and look to move on by winning the first T20 and also the series. The Eoin Morgan led side is pretty inexperienced when compared to New Zealand as England have selection woes going into the match.
The good news for the hosts is that Kevin Pietersen is making a comeback after an injury layoff and more importantly has warmed up with a century for Surrey. But he won't be available for Tuesday's tie and most likely be playing the second match, which leaves Morgan as the most experienced player in the team.
All eyes would be on Gary Ballance if he gets a game, who has been in action against Surrey and averages 53.12 in List A. The Yorkshire batsman has been rated as a bright prospect for England. However, Jade Dernbach and Alex Hales have been struggling for form but have been included in the squad for the T20s.
On the other hand, New Zealand would be confident after beating England 2-1 in an ODI series and nearly missed out from qualifying to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy. Mitchell McClenaghan has been a revelation with the ball for New Zealand with 11 wickets in the Champions Trophy and can cause problems for the English batsmen.
In batting Martin Guptill remains their mainstay with match-winning performance during the ODI series and warmed up with a 56 off 44 balls in a practice game against Kent on Saturday. New Zealand would be starting confident after winning their warm-up T20 against Kent, but a changed England could surprise the Black Caps by playing some inspired cricket.
England: 1 Eoin Morgan (capt), 2 Gary Ballance, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Alex Hales, 5 Michael Lumb, 6 Jos Butler (wk), 7 Luke Wright, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Boyd Rankin, 11 Jade Dernbach
New Zealand: 1 Hamish Rutherford, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham, 6 Colin Munro, 7 Corey J Anderson, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Ian Butler, 11 Ronnie Hira