Live Cricket Streaming: New Zealand vs England 2013 1st T20 Match
England are warm favourites for their three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand, beginning in Auckland on Saturday night, despite the return of former Kiwi skipper and the country's best batsman in Ross Taylor.
The three-match Twenty20 series will be followed by a three-match ODI series and then three Test matches, with England in New Zealand for nearly two months following their recent marathon tour of India.
England are coming off a memorable first Test series victory in India since 1984 while they also squared the two-match Twenty20 series in the sub-continent and only went down narrowly 3-2 in the five-match ODI series.
New Zealand have also just returned from a tour of South Africa, where they were totally humiliated in the two Test matches but narrowly lost the Twenty20 series before pulling off one of their greatest series wins away from home by taking the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Taylor missed that series after a falling out with coach Mike Hesson during the previous series in Sri Lanka but will return as a batsman against England - with Brendon McCullum retaining the captaincy.
England are the $1.60 favourites at sportsbet.com.au and Centrebet but better value at Betfair at odds of $1.69 to win the three-match Twenty20 series, with New Zealand priced at $2.30 at sportsbet.com.au and Betfair.
The betting is closer for game one at Eden Park on Saturday night with England favourites at $1.68 at sportsbet.com.au and $1.82 at Betfair while New Zealand are priced at $2.20 with the tourists having attracted just over three quarters of the money already wagered on the game at Betfair.
As far as correct score betting on the series is concerned - England to win the series 2-1 is the favoured option at Centrebet at $2.45, followed by New Zealand to win 2-1 at $3, with an England clean sweep priced at $4.25 while the Kiwis are big odds at $8 to win all three matches.
Taylor is the $4.50 third favourite at sportsbet.com.au to mark his return to the New Zealand team by being his team's leading run-scorer in the three-match Twenty20 series, with Martin Guptill and skipper McCullum the equal $3.75 favourites.
For England, it is Michael Lumb and Alex Hales who are the equal $4 favourites, just ahead of Melbourne Stars all-rounder Luke Wright at $4.50 with Eoin Morgan value at $5.50.
And as far as the respective leading wicket-taker markets for the series are concerned, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan are the equal $3.75 favourites for the Kiwis while for England Steven Finn and Stuart Broad are the equal $4 favourites but it is England's greater bowling depth which is likely to prove the difference.