New Zealand’s Trent Boult prefers Australia in final for chance of revenge

Plunkett: Defeats have made England stronger

New Zealand is back in the World Cup final - and Trent Boult isn't hiding who he wants to meet at Lord's on Sunday.

And while the pre-tournament talk focussed on the claims of the No.1 ranked hosts and India to the trophy, Finch claimed he always knew his side would find their focus when the lights went up on cricket's biggest stage.

The response was swift, battering anyone and everyone in their way, including England, until a surprise 10-run defeat to South Africa last time out.

Power hitter Jos Buttler was the only player not to fall to the pair, after England fell to 4-53 early and only one of their top four hit double figures. Only Rohit Sharma has scored more runs with Warner formulating three centuries, including 166 against Bangladesh which is the highest score of the tournament.

Mitchell Starc has already picked up an incredible 26 wickets, at least six more than his closest rivals. "There were so many contributions throughout the match, with bat, ball, in the field, that were vital to get us across the line", he added.

England have been somewhat shaky throughout periods of the competition. Then again, Australia lost their last alliance match to South Africa losing the top spot on the points table. England, on the other hand, started superbly, had the worst dip in last three years but eventually managed to salvage the campaign winning two massive games against India and New Zealand.

They seem to be peaking at the right time and look a relaxed bunch, something that was very much evident when the entire squad walked barefoot around the outfield at Edgbaston here on Monday.

Rains played spoilsport on Tuesday as play had to be suspended after 46.1 overs in the first innings.

Openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have been on fire and the team will be expecting another flying start from the destructive duo.

Jason Roy has missed three games through injury but still possesses 341 World Cup runs to his name at an average of 68.2.

Both the sides met in the group stage of the tournament where Australia comfortably thumped England by 64 runs at Lord's on June 25. Overall records also favour Australia - 82 wins to England's 61 wins.

Australia coasted through the first half of their innings as Finch and Warner made an opening stand of 123 within the first 23 overs.

Yet it is that result and performance that propelled the hosts back into life.

Australia were the first team to qualify for the semi-finals in this World Cup and have finished second in the league phase behind India.



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