Second Test: New Zealand vs England Preview
England might wonder where it all went wrong for them at the Bay Oval, where they kept their noses in front for two days before the Black Caps counter-punch proved a knockout blow.
The tourists looked flat in the field but in hindsight the moment Ben Stokes put down a relatively simple catch to give BJ Watling a life proved critical.
The series moves to Seddon Park in Hamilton for the second and final Test.
The Black Caps put in an archetypal gutsy performance in the series opener and showed the value of graft in Test cricket.
New Zealand had the more disciplined bowling unit which drastically reduces Lockie Ferguson’s chances of making his Test debut unless management opts to rest one of the frontline quicks.
The lower-middle order duo of BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner punched above their weight in the first Test but the top order need to make better use of their starts.
Despite often being covered in a distinctly emerald tinge the Seddon Park pitch plays as true as any in the world and we could be in for another attritional Test which should suit the Kiwis.
England were reminded how quickly all your hard work can evaporate in Test cricket after they let the initiative slip from their grasp in the first match of the series.
Stokes was the hero on day one with a well-constructed innings of 91 which proved to be the highest of the match for the tourists, but Watling’s double-ton piled misery on the man who let him escape on 36. The dropped catch aside the allrounder had a good game with bat and ball.
Sam Curran and Jack Leach bowled well in spells, but skipper Joe Root might be concerned over how much Jofra Archer struggled to make an impact.
New opening pair of Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley should get another run together after the former passed concussion protocols having been struck on the helmet at Mount Maunganui.
Prediction – New Zealand vs England, Second Test
New Zealand 11/10
New Zealand to keep their foot down, while a draw is also in the frame.
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