By Niall Anderson at Lord's

Clouds in the sky, a healthy tinge of green on the wicket, and a ground that doesn't lend itself to massive scores – the conditions for the 2019 World Cup final won't bother the Black Caps one bit.

In what is being billed as a battle between the World Cup's best batting lineup and best bowling unit, today's final at Lord's could be played in conditions that give the Black Caps their best chance of victory.

When New Zealand and England clashed in the group stage in Durham, the first 20 overs were played on a wicket that was ideal for batsmen, and England showed how hard they are to stop in ideal conditions for batting, eventually claiming a crushing victory. Face England on a wicket where a par score is in excess of 300, and they are massive favourites to beat anyone, including the Black Caps.


Battle them on a wicket where lower scores are expected, though, and that might tip the balance back towards New Zealand.

But not completely. The gulf in batting class, where England have a major edge, is much larger than the difference between the bowling units, where most pundits would give New Zealand a slight advantage.

It's fair to suggest that England would be deserving favourites in all conditions, but, if you were mapping a path to victory for the Black Caps, it would surely include their bowlers providing the match-winning contributions, so the conditions seen the day before the final at Lord's could prove significant.

Will the Black Caps have reasons to celebrate when getting to Lord's on Sunday? Photo / Getty
Will the Black Caps have reasons to celebrate when getting to Lord's on Sunday? Photo / Getty

The pitch was revealed to be surprisingly green, and although Morgan expects that grass to fade, he still expects that high scores may be hard to come by.

"From afar, it looks greener than it is. There isn't a lot of grass on the wicket. So it probably exaggerates how it will look. If the sun comes out for a few hours, it will look different, it'll go whiter and burn it off.

"I think in general throughout the tournament the scores have been a lot lower than they have been previously here in the last three or four years. Adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is.

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

However, any good news for the Black Caps bowlers could be swiftly negated by the prospect of England's seamers experiencing the same conditions, with captain Kane Williamson noting the wicket was "perhaps encouraging to seam bowlers on both sides".


Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes have combined for 49 wickets at an average of 25.4, and add in Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, and the spin of Adil Rashid, and England possess a bowling lineup just as potent as the Black Caps.

So, is another low-scoring thriller on the cards?

"Most teams having played here before expected scores to be a lot higher than what we have seen, but the reality of it is that they have been quite tough surfaces," said Williamson.

"At times they've been hard to read, especially with the pre-emptive ideas that most teams came into the World Cup with - which was very high scoring [games], and tough work for the bowlers.

"Bowlers have enjoyed themselves a little bit."

For the Black Caps to win the World Cup, their bowlers will need to do more than just that – they'll need to have the time of their lives.