The 2019 World Cup finalists will meet in the first knockout clash of the T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. While England topped Group 1, New Zealand finished second in Group 2. Both sides won four games each in the Super 12 round.
Previewing the game, Hogg stated that the Buttler versus Boult contest could be the defining battle of the first semi-final. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he also predicted the winner of the clash. He commented:
“Boult’s match-up with Buttler is key. He likes to swing the ball into Buttler but he’ll get him with the straighter one. Buttler will be looking for that inswing, but as that one goes straight and doesn’t come in, Buttler will chase it, nick it off to Conway or the first slip early on. That will give New Zealand a leeway to win this game.”
Buttler and Boult have been two of the standout performers in the T20 World Cup 2021. While the aggressive England opener has 240 runs from five games at a strike rate of 155.84, the Kiwi left-arm seamer has picked up 11 wickets at an average of 10.45.
“Whoever gets on top there will help their team win” – Brad Hogg on the other key match-up in England-New Zealand semis
Apart from the Buttler-Boult battle, Hogg reckons that the clash between Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and England big-hitter Liam Livingstone will also be crucial.
Speaking about the duel, Hogg said:
“The other match-up is Sodhi vs Livingstone in the middle-overs. That will be a big match-up. Whoever gets on top there will help their team win. I am backing Sodhi and New Zealand to win this contest.”
Sodhi has been extremely impressive for New Zealand in the middle overs. He has claimed eight wickets in five games at a strike rate of 12.7 and an excellent economy rate of 7.17.
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As for Livingstone, the 28-year-old has not had a lot to do with the bat so far. He smashed 28 off 17 in the defeat against South Africa. Ironically, Livingstone has made a greater impact with his part-time spin and has claimed four scalps.