ICC World T20 2016 | 5 key talking points for England's World T20 semi-final against New Zealand


England take on New Zealand in the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at five big talking points ahead of the Delhi showdown.

1. Will New Zealand call on Trent Boult or Tim Southee?

(Arnulfo Franco/AP)

Prior to the tournament seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee were among the first names on the New Zealand team sheet. That all changed when they played India on a turning track in Nagpur, gambling on a spin-dominated line-up that saw Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum play star roles. But on a Delhi pitch where England have favoured pace, will New Zealand shuffle the deck again and be tempted to hand one or both of their senior bowlers a first game of the competition?

2. It’s time for Adil Rashid to step up.

(Manish Swarup/AP)

Much was expected of Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid in India following his eye-catching efforts in the Big Bash League earlier this year. But it has not quite happened for him so far. He has completed his four-over allocation just once in four matches and been hit for a total of 10 sixes – joint most in the tournament alongside team-mate Moeen Ali. He has to find a way to assert himself on proceedings if England are to peak.

3. It’s the big showdown: Joe Root v Kane Williamson.

(Rajanish Kakade/AP)

By common consensus Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith represent the vanguard of modern three-format batsmanship. The first two will face off in Delhi and, while it would be wrong to reduce the match to a simple head-to-head, the pair do shoulder big burdens. Whichever players best marshall their side’s innings could well go a long way to determining the destination of the match.

4. How much of a factor will the toss and the dreaded dew be?

(Saurabh Das/AP)

England have chased just once in the tournament so far, fearlessly knocking off a tournament record 230 against South Africa. Their record of defending is less impressive, battered into submission by Chris Gayle in their opener and taken to the brink by Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews. Surely Eoin Morgan will feel most comfortable pursuing, making the toss vital. The possibility of dew must also be considered. England struggled to keep the ball dry on a slick outfield against the West Indies and forecasts suggest it may be warm enough for those conditions to be replicated.

5. Alex Hales is due a hit.

(Rajanish Kakade/AP)

Alex Hales is a former world number one in T20 cricket and remains the country’s only centurion in the format. But he has yet to catch fire in the competition so far, making 28, 17 and 0 as well as missing the Afghanistan game with a bad back. But he is a player who can be lethal once the ball begins to find the middle of the bat and will feel he owes the side one of his special nights. If he manages one, England’s prospects will soar with his strike-rate.