These two teams may have been going at it for almost a century, but England dominated the team that was essentially a poor man’s Australia to them once upon a time - that is, until recent developments. Not only is New Zealand a force to be reckoned with now, but they are the number two Test team in the world at the moment - quite some way ahead of England - and are getting ready to play the final of the World Test Championship against India later this month. Moreover, the events of summer 2019 are still fresh on the minds of these two teams, so expect sparks to fly as the English also try to stunt the Kiwis before the WTC final. Before these storied rivals take to an even more storied field, let’s take a look at the two sides.
Full squad for Test series vs New Zealand
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, James Bracey (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood, Sam Billings (wk), Haseeb Hameed.
England predicted XI for 1st Test vs New Zealand
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, James Bracey (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Haseeb Hameed.
England team preview and form
Joe Root is back at the helm for the Brits, but his team won’t exactly be the strongest England can field.
New faces abound in the English camp as an influx of talent from the counties replaces exhausted IPL returnees Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, and Jonny Bairstow.
James Bracey and Ollie Robinson could earn their first ever caps for their nation, while Haseeb Hameed and Craig Overton get fresh chances.
After being rotated in and out of the playing XI over the last year or so, James Anderson and Stuart Broad might finally take the field together.
England have been enjoying a pretty decent run of form at home for a while now, with the last time they lost a home Test series being way back in 2014 against Sri Lanka.
England key players for 1st Test vs New Zealand
Joe Root: Back at home after a miserable last 3 matches in India, Root will be eyeing the familiar turf with greed.
Zak Crawley: It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which other batsmen will get a chance on what will no doubt be an experimental lineup, but if Crawley gets to play, we think he’ll do well.
James Anderson: Rain or shine, Jimmy Anderson will do the latter in England.
Ollie Robinson: After exciting county performances, we expect Robinson to not only feature, but do well.
Full squad for Test series vs England
Kane Williamson (c), Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway (wk), Tom Latham (wk), BJ Watling (wk), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner.
New Zealand predicted XI for 1st Test vs England
Kane Williamson (c), Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Mitchell Santner, Devon Conway (wk), Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner.
New Zealand team preview and form
Who else to lead the Kiwis but Williamson?
Although Devon Conway is yet to get his first Test cap, his incredible form in other formats demands a chance for him, and he will most likely be joined by Rachin Ravindra as far as debuts go.
Players such as Nicholls and Young will almost certainly be played for them to get accustomed to the conditions.
Needless to say, the famous Kiwi pace quartet will be in full swing - and arguably be the most dangerous part of their team.
While they are extremely dangerous at home, the Kiwis’ last away triumph that wasn’t against Zimbabwe, West Indies, or Bangladesh came - wait for it - against England in 1999. Almost absurd for a team that’s been so good at home.
New Zealand key players for 1st Test vs England
Kane Williamson: Yes, and?
Devon Conway: Time for Conway to step into his long match shoes to prove he’s good at all formats.
Tim Southee: We all know some components of the Kiwis’ fantastic pace battery will outperform the others, but it’s hard to guess which ones will. For now, Southee.
Trent Boult: What I just said, part 2.
England vs New Zealand head to head
As we said before, the English Lions have dominated the Kiwis for the greater part of the last century, and it is proven by their 48 wins to New Zealand’s mere 11. There are 46 draws between the two as well, so it’s not entirely been without competition, and the fact that the Black Caps won the last two series against the English and haven’t lost one since 2013 says heaps about the state of the teams now.
England vs New Zealand 1st Test pitch report and weather conditions
The iconic Lord’s features a pitch that offers a tough battle between pacers and batters early in a Test match, with spinners coming into their own on the last two days. Expect teams to choose to bat first and try to put up 350+.
That bat first option looks even more inviting given the varying chances of rain over the 5 days of play, which varies between very low to up to the mid-forties on days 3 and 5. Other than that, the weather will be wonderful for cricket with comfortable temperatures and humidity for both teams.
Can the English demoralize their guests before the most important Test of the latter’s lives? Or will the Kiwis show just why they made the final of the WTC and England didn’t? Find out if our England versus New Zealand 1st Test predictions come true starting Wednesday!
|ENG Top Batsman:|
|NZ Top Batsman:|
|ENG Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|NZ Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|J Root/Z Crawley/R Burns (ENG), K Williamson/D Conway/H Nicholls (NZ)|
|Players to score a century:|
|J Root/Z Crawley (ENG), K Williamson/D Conway (NZ)|