Here we are. After a month and half of gruelling cricket, two teams stand one foot away from the World Cup trophy. Although there are several factors that will decide who lifts the trophy on 14th July, the pertinent facet will be who wins the key player battles.
We take a look at the top three player battles that will decide the winner of ICC World Cup 2019:
ODIs are won and lost in the middle overs. The cliched saying may not be a golden rule but it does signify the importance of dominating middle overs.
England have done well so far in the middle overs thanks to the calm and solid presence of Joe Root who has mastered the art of strike rotation and is a fantastic player of spin and pace.
On the other hand, New Zealand bank on Mitchell Santner for choking the runs in middle overs. Santner's spin is hard to score against and he has enjoyed good success against Root in the past.
Can Root step up and enjoy the last laugh?
Santner versus Root: Numbers so far
Total balls bowled: 143
Total runs scored: 127
Batting strike rate: 88.81
England's primary objective with the ball will be to send back Kane Williamson as quickly as possible and for that they can rely on Ben Stokes, a big match player.
Stokes has kept Williamson quiet in the past and also knows the tricks of dismissing him. But will he be able to shatter the Kiwi captain's defense on the biggest stage?
Stokes versus Williamson: Numbers so far
Total balls bowled: 98
Total runs scored: 86
Batting strike rate: 87.75
The biggest battle of the final: Roy versus Boult. Forget the occasion, forget the history and still you have a blockbuster cricket battle where an all-out aggressive batsman takes on a fierce and lethal pace bowler. This should be fun!
The winner of the battle between Boult and Roy will give a clear advantage to his respective team and hence it will be fought vigorously.
So far Roy has failed to score quick runs against Boult and has lost his wicket as well but come the finals and Roy maybe a different batsman altogether.
Boult vs Roy: Numbers so far
Total balls bowled: 73
Total runs scored: 58
Batting strike rate: 79.45