New Zealand v England: Second Test Preview
After a dismal showing last time out, England Cricket will be looking to bounce back in their second Test Match against New Zealand.
There are doubts on the fitness of Jos Buttler who has picked up an injury in the gym, and Ollie Pope will deputise if needed and apparently bat at 7 if he does.
This will mean either picking Woakes or a debut for Zac Crawley. As the series doesn’t count towards the Test Championship, I would be inclined to give Crawley a crack. Knowing England, they will probably play safe with Woakes and bump Sam Curran up to number 6. Is there a need for 2 all-rounders in the team who both bowl in the low 80s? Probably not. We might even get to see Saqib Mahmood get a go.
There are a few players who need to perform. Joe Root has dropped out of the Top 10 batsmen in the world for the first time in 5 years. He needs runs, not just in this match but moving forward to South Africa, Sri Lanka and the English summer. People have also started to question his tactics. If he was scoring runs, this is something that might be overlooked.
Although the batsmen failed last week, the England bowlers never looked like taking 10 wickets, let alone 20. They will need to come out firing as someone will miss out in South Africa if James Anderson is fit.
Broad and Archer both looked out of sorts. Yes, the wicket was flat, but apart from the final session on day 2 the intensity was very low and nothing seemed to happen. Whether it was tactics or mindset, it didn’t work.
As we touched on after the first Test Match, England are very good at bouncing back. As soon as the media jump in on them, they seem to react in the right way. Let’s hope we see it in Hamilton tonight!
Our England team for the second Test Match vs New Zealand (based on Buttler not being fit):
Burns, Sibley, Denly, Root, Stokes, Pope, Woakes, Archer, Mahmood, Leach, Broad