England vs. New Zealand 2021
2nd Test – Thu, 10th June
KIWIS ARE FAVOURITES?
England was very fortunate to have been spared by the rain in the previous game. It batted badly and profited from dropped catches to reach 275 in the first inning and then batted with no intent whatsoever in the second. The flaws in the English batting line-up are obvious and without players like Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, or Moeen Ali, the team is susceptible against a good bowling line-up.
England could make some adjustments following Ollie Robinson’s suspension, and one of Craig Overton or Olly Stone should take his spot. With the senior players not doing well, the burden is going to be on the home side for sure.
Possible playing XI: Dominic Sibley, Rory Burns, Craig Overton/James Anderson, Ollie Pope, Daniel Lawrence, James Bracey (WK), Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley, Joe Root(C), and Olly Stone/ Mark Wood.
New Zealand has a very mediocre away record for a team that is presently ranked number 2 in Test cricket. We don’t think anybody would disagree that this is the best opportunity New Zealand has had to try and win a Test in England in a long time.
New Zealand offered a Test debut to Devon Conway, who had made a dash in limited-overs cricket. The southpaw snatched the opportunity with both hands and broke lots of records en route to his 347-ball 200 at the Lords. Tim Southee picked up six wickets. Southee, Jamieson, and even de Grandhomme got a lot more seam and swing than the English bowlers in the first game. They looked more intimidating and looked more expected to pick up wickets.
Possible playing XI: Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner/ Colin De Grandhomme, Kane Williamson(C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Kyle Jamieson/ Doug Bracewell, Tom Latham, Ajaz Patel, Matt Henry/ Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
The pitch at Edgbaston should be bowler-friendly, with the speedsters likely to be supported throughout the match. Batters need to outlast the new ball phase before thinking about scoring big, though the modest carry could help them once they get established in the middle.
Spin bowlers should come into play in the second innings as the wicket gets more worn out. However, owing to the match stats at Edgbaston, we reckon the skippers will want to bat first on winning the toss.
The bowler-friendly situations and the lack of appropriate application from some batsmen of both sides make it likely for the second Test to get a conclusion. The likes of Ross Taylor and Williamson will want to reclaim their form ahead of the WTC final, and the familiarity of the New Zealand batsmen could give them the advantage in this match.
But, owing to the home conditions, England begin this game as the favourites at the pre-match odds of 2.25, and New Zealand not very behind at 2.45. The draw is at 5.50, which seems unlikely.