Edgbaston will offer New Zealand their best chance of winning a rare Test series in England as an already depleted home squad battles the social media storm surrounding historic racist and sexist tweets with the controversy having the potential to consume a large chunk of their players in the summer. After the suspension of Oliver Robinson pending investigation into his racist tweets dated back to 2012-2013, the names of several other England players have made the headlines for posting similar comments.
A win for New Zealand will not only reward them with a series win in England - their first since 1999 - but also give them momentum and confidence going into the World Test Championship Final against India which starts at Southampton from the 18th of June.
The match will provide England a chance to redeem themselves and put the events of the week behind them. It is important for them to turn up a good performance given the long summer that lies ahead.
WHAT: England vs New Zealand 2nd Test
WHEN: June 10-14, 10am GMT, 3.30pm IST
WHERE: Edgbaston, Birmingham
TELECAST: Sony Network
LIVE STREAMING: Sony Liv
England Team News
The biggest positive for England at Lord’s was the performance of their two openers - the street-fighter Rory Burns and the classic old-fashioned Dom Sibley. Both saved the match for the home team across the two innings.
Zak Crawley was dismissed for a couple of single-digit scores and may be replaced by the talented Haseeb Hameed. The rest of the batting line-up should remain the same.
England might rest Stuart Broad - he was the least impressive of the fast bowlers in London. There is a good chance that Olly Stone would replace him in the XI. The right-arm fast bowler has played two Tests for England which includes one against India in Chennai.
Bowling all-rounder Craig Overton will, in all likelihood, replace the suspended Oliver Robinson. He last played in the Ashes in September, 2019. Overton, a right-arm medium-fast bowler did not impress much in the four Tests he played for England bagging just 9 wickets.
Possible Playing XI: 1. Dom Sibley, 2. Rory Burns, 3. Haseeb Hameed, 4. Joe Root, 5. Ollie Pope, 6. Dan Lawrence, 7. James Bracey, 8. Craig Overton, 9. Mark Wood, 10. Olly Stone, 11. James Anderson
New Zealand Team News
New Zealand were in the ascendancy at Lord’s and if not for rain washing out an entire day’s play, would have been favourites to dictate the course of play and take a lead in the series. The performance of Devon Conway - who hit a double hundred on Test debut in London - was the highlight of New Zealand’s performance in the series opener.
Henry Nicholls produced a fifty in the first innings and continued to be their mainstay in the middle-order. Skipper Kane Williamson did not score many in London but the more worrying aspect for the visitors would be his elbow injury - he is likely to miss the Birmingham Test keeping in mind the final of the WTC just a few days after.
Rachin Ravindra, opening batsman who has been in terrific form with the willow and is also a useful slow left-arm orthodox bowler, may just be handed a Test cap at Edgbaston. He has batted in the middle order in first-class cricket and should easily fit into the number three position.
Trent Boult’s inclusion in the XI would be a big boost to the Kiwis. He will bring variety into the attack and will be a major threat for the English batsmen in favourable conditions in Birmingham given his ability to swing the brand new Dukes Ball. Indications by coach Gary Stead suggest that Tim Southee will be rested for the match. Matt Henry may also come in for Neil Wagner. There is also a strong chance of all-rounder Daryl Mitchell replacing the injured Mitchell Santner.
Possible Playing XI: 1. Tom Latham, 2. Devon Conway, 3. Rachin Ravindra, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Daryl Mitchell, 9. Kyle Jamieson, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Matt Henry
Head-to- Head Record – Last 5 Matches
New Zealand 2, England 0
England last won a Test against New Zealand in 2015 - incidentally at Lord’s where Ben Stokes hammered 92 (94 balls) and 101 (92 balls) and led the way with the bat.
To watch out for:
Trent Boult will be raring to go and perform with the Dukes Ball in English conditions. A good performance in Birmingham sets him up for the WTC Final in Southampton.
- James Anderson is just 3 wickets shy of equaling the great Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 Test wickets.
- James Anderson will break Alastair Cook’s record of maximum Test matches for England (161) if he takes the field at Edgbaston on Thursday.
“There is an opportunity to win a Test series in England. It’s been a long time. Looking forward to the challenge. I thought the guys played tremendously well at Lord’s. The boys are gelling nicely and hopefully it will be a big week" - Trent Boult
“I thought I wasn’t good enough" - James Anderson had self-doubts after his first over in Test cricket at Lord’s against Zimbabwe