Pic credit: [email protected] World Cup

Finally, the time for much-anticipated World Cup battle has come as defending champions Australia and last year’s runners up New Zealand are going to take on each other Lord’s Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Notably, both the squads have played total seven games so far in the ongoing tournament. Five-time World Champions Aussies are leading the current World Cup standings with total 12 points while equally strong team New Zealand is reigning at third spot with eleven points.

The World Cup Champions Aussies started their campaign with two back-to-back victories against Afghanistan and West Indies respectively. Though in their third match against Indian tigers, Aaron Finch-led squad faced a speed breaker in winning momentum as they lost that game by 36 runs at The Oval stadium. Kangaroos then bounced back in the fourth game against Pakistan where they scored 307 runs and defeated the green army by 41 runs. It was then no looking back for Australian squad as they clinched their fifth match also against Sri Lanka by as many as 87 runs. In their last two matches against Bangladesh and England, Australian squad maintained same kind of dominance to win both the games.

On the other hand, the New Zealand squad also started off with a brilliant 10-wicket win against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens. After their great opening, it became almost impossible to stop New Zealand as they clinched their second and third encounters against Bangladesh and Afghanistan squads consecutively. Though their fourth match against Indian tigers at Trent Bridge Stadium was called off but Kiwis were back in form again in their fifth match against South Africa where Kane Williamson-led squad won the game by four wickets. While in the sixth match against West Indies, New Zealand secured the 5-run close win at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The only time Black Caps faced the major jolt was in the last match against Pakistan, where the low-ranked squad shocked the title favourites with six-wicket margin at Edgbaston Stadium.

Head-on-head records

Both the title favourites Australia and New Zealand have played total 10 matches against each other in World Cup fixtures so far. Out of these 10 matches, Australian squad had won total seven matches while New Zealand had clinched only three games. The highest total posted by Kiwis against Aussies in World Cup clashes so far is 286 runs while the highest score posted by champions against New Zealand in World Cup matches so far is 348 runs.

Weather Forecast   

Weather will not be the problem for Australian and Kiwi squads in Saturday’s match as the sun will shine at Lord’s Stadium with brighter spells. As per the weather forecasting reports, the temperature in London will hover around 26-degree Celsius during the match of Australia and New Zealand. The humidity level is expected to be 46% later in a day.

Live Coverage 

The exciting match between Black Caps and Yellow Kangaroos will be started from 6 pm (IST) and is going to broadcast at Star Sports Networks. The live coverage of the game between New Zealand and Pakistan will be available on Star Sports 1 HD,  Star Sports 1 with English Commentary and on Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD with Hindi Commentary. While the online live streaming of the game will be available on Hotstar application.

Squads 

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Skipper), Tom Blundell (Wicket-Keeper), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, and  Ross Taylor

Australia: Aaron Finch (Skipper), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (Wicket-Keeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, and Adam Zampa