England set for a tougher test against New Zealand

England will look to strengthen its semifinal chances with a second successive win while New Zealand will be desperate for a victory after its first match against Australia was rained out.

Joe Root (left) and Alex Hales took apart the Bangladeshi bowling attack in the tournament opener. The Kiwi pace attack, however, might pose them tougher challenges.   -  REUTERS

After a comfortable outing in the tournament-opener, title favourite England is set to face a much stiffer test against New Zealand in a crucial game here on Tuesday.

There is a lot at stake for both teams. England will look to strengthen its semifinal chances with a second successive win while New Zealand will be desperate for a victory after its first match against Australia was rained out.

England v New Zealand: Preview in numbers

England could not have hoped for a better start to the tournament as it thrashed a lacklustre Bangladesh. Its easy chase of 306 was a warning to the other teams. Joe Root strolled to a 10th ODI hundred while opener Alex Hales missed out on well-deserved century by five runs.

Captain Eoin Morgan, too, began his campaign on a confident note, smashing an unbeaten 75 off 61 balls.

He, however, would be a tad worried about the lean patch of opener Jason Roy, who has not crossed 20 in his last six ODI innings.

READ: Morgan confident of avoiding repeat New Zealand thrashing

The host will also have to deal with the absence of fast-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes, who was ruled out of the tournament with an injury after bowling just two overs against Bangladesh. Steven Finn has replaced him.

Morgan might also bring back leggie Adil Rashid to add more variety to the bowling department.

Nonetheless, an exciting contest is in the offing with New Zealand showing a lot of promise against Australia.

Captain Kane Williamson led from the front against the trans-Tasmanian rivals with a ninth ODI hundred. Luke Ronchi looked in good touch at the top of the order and alongside Martin Guptill, form a dangerous combination.

The Black Caps lost their way towards the end of the innings and they would be aiming to rectify that on Tuesday.

Chasing 235 in 33 overs, Australia was put under severe pressure by New Zealand, reducing it to 53 for three in nine overs before rain had the final say.

New Zealand's pace battery, comprising Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Trent Boult, looked in good shape.

"In some respects, this is almost like a quarterfinal, the Birmingham no-result throwing a spanner in the works a little bit,"  wrote former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond in a column for the ICC.

"Especially in the last two years, despite England’s vastly different approach to white-ball cricket, games between the two teams have been very tight, and I expect another close, well-contested encounter."

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