New Zealand vs England, 1st Test: Match Prediction

New Zealand vs England: New Zealand takes on England as Cricket returns to Lords. Match Prediction Preview and Betting odds.

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New Zealand vs England Overview

New Zealand vs England: With a lull in the Cricketing World, Test Cricket comes back in the form of New Zealand Vs. England. The series starts at the Lords, which is an iconic venue for both nations. New Zealand returns to where they narrowly lost a World Cup. Seven of their nineteen players were present at Lords on that day, and the incident will undoubtedly be fresh in their minds.

This week though, the situation is different. New Zealand takes on a depleted England side. The series was not initially a part of the Future Tours Programme, which may seem strange. The fact that the tour seems out of schedule looks a little strange with England having a pretty packed schedule coming ahead. India is coming for a full tour, while Sri Lanka and Pakistan will also participate in a string of limited-overs games before the World T20.

New Zealand vs England Team News:

For New Zealand, their side will be near full strength, with Trent Boult being a notable absentee. The tour is New Zealand’s first outside their home and their first Test series in England since 2015. The side has stated the two Tests are not a warm-up despite a bigger picture to look at. With the World Test Championship Finals against India in a few weeks, the Tests may help New Zealand get used to the conditions.

The build-up is crucial as New Zealand will hope to build a solid and in-form side ahead of the big event. With England lacking a few crucial players, New Zealand also has their best chance of winning a series in England, which will be their first this century. Coming to the players, New Zealand looks settled with Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner as their bowlers.

The batting looks promising with Williamson, and Taylor, while Devon Conway is expected to make his debut at some stage. A string of stars off the radar, and the retiring BJ Watling is one of them. BJ Watling has been one of the best Keepers in the World over the years and has announced his retirement after the WTC Finals.

Coming to England, the side has lost a handful of players to injury and the IPL. With the IPL called off, many players were rested after serving their quarantine period. The absence is such that Joe Root is the only England player who took part in the finals at Lords two years ago against New Zealand.

There are some exciting prospects with seamer Ollie Robinson and James Bracey likely to make their debuts. Despite the absence of Archer, Woakes, and Sam Curran, England may field a full-strength bowling attack. The loss of the other bowlers may also allow James Anderson and Stuart Broad a chance to play together. With two experienced heads present, the bowling looks close to perfect, but the batting is where England may be found wanting.

Barring Joe Root, there is a considerable gap in experience. The likes of Rory Burns and Ollie Pope may help, as the pair were in India and the Test series, but the number of Test caps shows that they still have a lot to do at the Test level. The two are talented players and will have to step up in the upcoming Test. The lack of a genuine all-rounder may play a part in England’s selection as well.

New Zealand vs England Predicted XIs:

New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham, 2 Tom Blundell/Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme/Daryl Mitchell, 8 Mitchell Santner/Matt Henry, 9 Kyle Jamieson, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Neil Wagner

England: 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Dan Lawrence, 7 James Bracey (wk), 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

Players to watch out for:

Neil Wagner:

At 35, Neil Wagner has grown into one of the strongest but underrated pacers. He is a bowler who often falls under the radar . Wagner has made a name for himself with relentless bouncers and long spells. With Boult unavailable, a lot of focus may be given to Neil Wagner. The pacer was New Zealand’s lone warrior when they toured Australia a couple of years ago.

Ollie Pope:

The young batsman is one of the few members on tour to India a few months ago. He is likely to play a crucial role in the upcoming Test series. With Stokes, and Butler out, Ollie Pope may have a crucial role to play in the middle-order. He has been in good form during the county championship and looked promising in India as well. Despite few chinks in his armor, he is an exciting player to look out for.

New Zealand vs England, Pitch Conditions:

Lords will be hosting its first Test since August 2019. The pitch looks to have maintained its regular coating of grass. The Lord’s surface usually is grassy, and with reasonable cloud cover, the pacers find a way to make the ball talk early in the game. The cloud cover is limited this time around, but the grass on the surface may still aid the swing bowlers. With the temperatures at reasonable levels, bowling first may be a better option as it allows the pacers to use the surface when it’s fresh.

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