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Eoin Morgan feels England have come a long way since New Zealand trounced them in World Cup 2015

Morgan admitted that it was “men against boys” when Kiwis trounced England in their last outing at in the World Cup 2015.

England's Eoin Morgan
England’s Eoin Morgan. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hosts England will be very eager to book their place in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 semi-finals when they lock horns with New Zealand at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens. A point against the Kiwis will ensure England qualify for the next round. All four teams in Group A are still contention for the semis spot because of the two washouts. Australia were involved in both the abandoned matches, against New Zealand and Bangladesh respectively.

Meanwhile, captain Eoin Morgan is confident that his team has the firepower and self-belief to get the better of the Kiwis. Morgan admitted that it was “men against boys” when Kiwis trounced England in their last outing at in the World Cup 2015. England lost to New Zealand by 8 wickets in Wellington in 2015 but after that reinvented themselves 3 months later and beat the Kiwis 3-2 at home.

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Since then the team has been performing consistently but Morgan reflected New Zealand’s superiority at the last World Cup. “They were one of the favourites going into the tournament and proved that against us that day in Wellington. It was sort of men against boys. But I think it’s completely different now – two years down the line. We’ve got a completely new team, pretty much,” he said.

Close encounter on the cards

On the other hand, Kiwis fast bowler Shane Bond is expecting a close and interesting encounter between the two teams. “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,” Bond wrote in a column for the ICC.

Going into the game, a major concern for the hosts will be the absence of Chris Woakes, who was injured in the game against Bangladesh. Woakes has been replaced by pacer Steve Finn but whether he can deliver on a platform as big as the Champions Trophy remains to be seen.

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