England take on New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland, in the first of the three-match T20I series, to kick off their much-awaited tour of the Asia-Pacific nation. The visitors will be boosted by the return of captain Stuart Broad, who spent the last few months on the sidelines due to his long-standing heel injury.
Where to Watch Live
The match starts at 6am GMT, with Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1 providing live coverage in the UK.
The Kiwis have a young and inexperienced squad but they are very much capable of producing a few shocks in the games' short formats, as they showed in South Africa. The Proteas were widely considered favourites ahead of the ODI series but the Black Caps beat the hosts 2-1, only narrowly missing out on a whitewash. Meanwhile, the T20 series saw South Africa struggle to post a 2-1 victory over the underdogs.
New Zealand will be delighted to welcome former skipper Ross Taylor back to their ranks. The heavy-hitting batsman will be eager to prove a point, following a short break from action after he was sacked as captain, ahead of the South Africa tour.
England, on the other side, come into this match on the back of a defeat to a New Zealand XI two days ago, even after fielding most of their first-choice players. The tourists will be keen to improve on the 1-1 draw against India in the T20 series last year, as well as the 1-1 draw against the New Zealand XI last week.
The spotlight will be on skipper Broad, who will once again test his troublesome heel, which can never be healed but only managed well, in order to prolong his career, as he recently revealed.
Last Five Head-To-Head
- 2012 World T20, Pallekele: England won by six wickets
- 2010, World T20, St Lucia: England won by three wickets
- 2008, Manchester: England won by nine wickets
- 2008, Christchurch: England won by 50 runs
- 2008, Auckland: England won by 32 runs
New Zealand: Both Ian Butler and Grant Elliott have been ruled out the first T20, with injuries. Butler is struggling with an ankle problem, while Elliott has a quad strain. James Neesham has been called up as the replacement.
Probable Line-up: Guptill, Rutherford, B McCullum, Taylor, Munro, Franklin, N McCullum, Ellis, Hira, Boult, McClenaghan
England: The visitors have no fresh injury concerns. Tim Bresnan was earlier ruled out with an elbow injury, paving the way for Stuart Meaker, and there is a good chance of him featuring in this clash.
Probable Line-up: Lumb, Hales, Wright, Morgan, Bairstow, Buttler, Patel, Broad,Tredwell, Finn, Meaker
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