England & New Zealand fight for test supremacy!
New Zealand will win the 1st Test match!
England takes on New Zealand on a 2 test series after winning the T20I series by 3-2 margin. This test series does not come under World Test Championship but, any test series between top nations will be a bigger prize.
England team has a couple of fringe players looking to make their mark on the international stage. They will look to get the elusive away series win against New Zealand which has been hard to achieve in recent years.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will look to dominate in their home soil. The Kiwis have a good home record in the last decade winning 10 of their last 12 series. They will look to continue their winning momentum in this series as well.
Kane Williamson returns to the team after his injury layoff and will take over the captaincy responsibilities of the team. The Kiwis have a well-settled batting line-up with Jeet Raval and Tom Latham opening the batting followed by experienced Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. Henry Nicholls and Keeper BJ Watling will form the vital cog as the lower middle order of the batting acting as a bridge between the middle order and the tail-enders.
They have a pace heavy bowling attack with the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Matt Henry. Lockie Ferguson is expected to make his test debut in this series and he will threaten the batsmen with his raw pace and aggressive bowling. Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle are the spin bowlers in the squad.
Kane Williamson – Williamson has scores of 200* & 76 in the last two innings played at home. He is the No.3 ranked Test batsmen in the ICC rankings with the likes Henry Nicholls (6th) & Tom Latham (8th) in top 10.
Trent Boult – Boult will be the p[ace spearhead of the bowling attack and will be a tough bowler to deal with the new ball as he can swing the ball in both ways. He took 13 wickets against Bangladesh in their last home series.
Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (Wk), Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Colin De GrandHomme, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson/Matt Henry/Mitchell Santner
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, N Wagner, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, TG Southee
English Skipper is expected to return to his favored No.4 position in the batting line-up with Joe Denly taking the No.3 spot in this series. Newbie Dominic Sibley is expected to partner Rory Burns at the top of the batting line-up. All-rounder Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, and Jos Buttler will form the middle order for the England team. They have a good mix of experience and youth in their batting line-up.
Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad will lead the pace attack with Sam Curran taking up the third seamer`s spot in the team. Jack Leach will be lone spinner in the playing XI and he will have to take a big responsibility for supporting the pace attack. Johnny Bairstow and Chris Woakes are the notable absentees in the playing XI for England.
Joe Denly – Denly had good returns in the Ashes and has emerged as a better player at the end of the series. He will look to continue his good form and score runs consistently for the England team.
Jofra Archer – Jofra Archer has been a revelation for the England team in all formats. He impressed everyone in the practice games with his pace and bounce and will be a big threat for the New Zealand team.
Dominic Sibley , Rory Burns, Joe Root (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Joe Denly , Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Sam Curran, Jack leach
Joe Root, Jofra Chioke Archer, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Rory Burns
The weather is expected to bright and clear with very less chances of rain on all 5 days.
Mt. Maunganui venue is debuting in the Test format with this match and both teams will be pretty unsure of the pitch conditions. The pitch is expected to aid faster bowlers and we can expect a lot of swing with the new ball.
Teams batting first have won almost 80% of test matches played in the recent past. Batting fourth has become a herculean task and any target above 250 will be hard to chase.
England has a good squad with both batting and bowling depth in the team. But, they have a few new players coming into the setup and their inexperience may be a spot of bother. New Zealand has a well-experienced and balanced team. They also have home conditions advantage.
New Zealand will win the 1st Test match!