England v New Zealand test series preview
Test cricket is back and the 2021 English international summer is starting.
New Zealand will be playing two test series with England before they take on India in the World Test Championships final. The tests will be played at Lords and Edgbaston from 2 June and 10th June respectively.
England had a difficult test series in India in early 2021 losing 1-3 and was bamboozled by the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Axar. By contrast, the Kiwis had a great outing at home vs Pakistan winning the 2 test series 2-0 end of last year.
New Zealand will be without Trent Boult in the first test. But their bowling is good enough to cover up that deficiency with all their fast bowlers ideal for English conditions. Their middle-order batting looks solid with Williamson, Taylor and Nicholls. In Jamieson, they have discovered a good bowling allrounder who can extract steep bounce due to his height. Perhaps the only area of concern is the opening slot. It remains to be seen who partners Tom Latham at the top.
England has rested virtually their entire IPL squad. Hence Buttler, Bairstow, Stokes, Moeen, Curran, Woakes etc have been rest after they have been in long bio bubbles. Archer has injury issues and hence will be missing this series and beyond. However, the quicks Mark Wood and Olly Stone can cover up that deficiency. With Ben, Foakes injured they may play James Bracey as the keeper. They have 4 potential openers in their squad in Crawley, Sibley, Burns and Haseeb Hameed. The last named had made his test debut vs India 5 years ago in 2016. And was shaping up well till he had a finger injury. Subsequent inexplicable form slump halted his international progress till a good couple of seasons since 2020 has brought him back into reckoning.
This promises to be a short but an intriguing test series. The Indian fans for obvious reasons will have an eye for this contest.
The matches will be telecast live on Sony network .
Joe Root(c), James Anderson, Sam Billings, James Bracey(wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
Kane Williamson(c), Devon Conway, Tom Latham, BJ Watling, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel,Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Jacob Duffy, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner,Henry Nicholls,Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tom Blundell.