Ross Taylor marks his 18th ODI hundred © Getty Images

Big Picture

Can New Zealand take this series to a decider? In 2015, these two teams played out an epic 3-2 tussle – on that occasion England came back from 2-1 down to take the honours. One immediate point in New Zealand’s favour is that they have never lost at University Oval, so if England want to seal the series with a match to spare they will have to breach the fortress.

From New Zealand’s point of view, most eyes are on a middle order that has underwhelmed in the last two matches. So in that respect the return of Ross Taylor after his quad injury will be a huge boost, reunited with the in-form Kane Williamson. They are the two century-makers so far in this series and the feeling persists that at least one has to perform for New Zealand to stand a chance.

After the narrow defeat in the opening match, England again have a spring in their step after two impressive performances. The spin bowling of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali has played a key role in the last two outings, although whether they are such an influence in this game remains to be seen. However, they have plenty of bases covered with the return of Ben Stokes having balanced the side. The sense is that they will take some stopping now.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LLWWW
England WWLWL

In the spotlight

New Zealand like this ground and so does Trent Boult. In four ODIs at the venue he has taken 12 wickets at 9.41, including 5 for 17 in the outing against Pakistan earlier this season. He has chipped in so far this series – two wickets in each innings – but if he could make multiple top-order breakthroughs it would be huge fillip. When Tim Southee was asked about challenges of bowling the ground, he said: “Just try and support Trent.”

Jos Buttler is threatening something quite destructive. He top-scored for England in Hamilton, but was kept relatively subdued by excellent death bowling, helped finish off the chase with a dash in Mount Maunganui and briefly looked like he would counter a difficult pitch in Wellington. After losing a bit of rhythm during the tri-series he is finding top form again.

Teams news

Taylor is set to return in place of Mark Chapman with Henry Nicholls likely to survive despite his run of 0,1,0 in the series to date. With the damp weather around, there may be consideration into bolstering the pace attack.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Colin Munro, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Henry Nicholls, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

England are unlikely to change a winning side barring any late injury problems.

England (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Tom Curran, 11 Mark Wood

Pitch and conditions

Pakistan were skittled for 74 earlier this season and, again, it may not be a venue where 300 is needed. Being a day game could offer the seamers something early on. In the build-up there has been rain around Dunedin and the forecast is for a chance of showers in the afternoon.

Stats and trivia

  • England have never played an ODI at the venue
  • Martin Guptill needs 71 runs to reach 6000 in ODIs
  • Wellington was the first time since 2010-11 – and just 11th over – that England had won an ODI batting first without an individual half-century


“We played well in the last game for parts. We haven’t lost in Dunedin so hopefully we can take some knowledge of how the wicket will play. We need to get off to a good start, set the platform and we know we are a good side when we have wickets in hand.”
Ross Taylor on hoping to use home advantage

“I’ve done it a lot of times in training and I’ve had time to implement it in games at Surrey and a few games for England so it’s just about going out there and backing myself. It’s very satisfying to see it come off.”
Tom Curran on the challenge of death bowling

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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