Cricket World Cup 2019 final: England captain Eoin Morgan wary of 'extremely tough' New Zealand

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson admits his team will be underdogs at Lord's

England's captain Eoin Morgan smiles during a press conference after attending a training session ahead of the Cricket World Cup final match against New Zealand at Lord's cricket ground in London, England, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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Eoin Morgan said he expects Sunday's Cricket World Cup final to be a low-scoring game and has urged his England team to replicate their fine performance against Australia when they take on New Zealand.

England dished out a ruthless performance against arch-rivals Australia, bowling out the five-time champions for 223 and romping home with nearly 18 overs to spare in a lop-sided semi-final at Edgbaston.

Asked if they would need to maintain a similar standard against the 2015 finalists, Morgan said: "I think we will need to, yeah.

"New Zealand are an extremely tough side, with a lot of experience, a lot of skill.  We are striving to improve on our performance. No doubt they (also) will."

New Zealand are one of the two sides, along with Afghanistan, who have not posted a 300-plus total in the tournament, but successfully defended a modest 239 against India in the first semi-final.

"Throughout the tournament the scores have been a lot lower than they have previously here in the last three or four years. Us adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is," Morgan said.

"New Zealand have done it brilliantly and Lord's isn't ever a high-scoring ground. I'd say tomorrow isn't going to be a high-scoring ground, so it will be a bit of a battle."

Morgan acknowledged the importance of winning England's first men's 50-overs World Cup title though his focus remains on the final only.

"I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy," said the left-handed batsman. "Cricket and sport in particular is very fickle. If you ever get ahead, it always seems to bite you in the backside.

"So for us to win it, I think around the country it would be awesome, great for the game.

"I think quite iconic in certainly young kids' memories if they are watching it at home and we manage to lift the trophy, it would be awesome."


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Kane Williamson, meanwhile, insisted every dog has its day, unfazed by the expectation that New Zealand will be the fall guys for a second successive World Cup final.

The New Zealand captain was in a relaxed mood at Lord's 24 hours before their showdown against England, who thumped the Black Caps by 119 runs when they met in the group stage earlier this month.

Williamson was content to confer the favourites tag on to England, who have won eight of their last 12 ODIs between the sides, as New Zealand look to go one step further than four years ago, when they were beaten by Australia.

"I think England, rightly so, deserve to be favourites," he said, when asked whether he feels New Zealand are the underdogs.

"Coming into this tournament from the start, they were favourites and they've been playing really good cricket.

"But whatever dog we are, it's just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play and we have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of breed of dog!"