England vs. New Zealand 2021
1st Test – Wed, 2nd June
TEAMS IN DECENT SHAPE?
Test cricket is in return with two of the world’s finest teams in England and New Zealand leveling off at the iconic Lord’s. The match kickstarts a hectic season for England, who are in route to face Sri Lanka and India later in the midsummer.
They have chosen a modest squad for the series against New Zealand, despite not being able to avail the benefits of their IPL-contracted performers such as Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. Although it offers an opportunity for the pair of Ollie Robinson and James Bracey to secure their first England cap, the limelight will definitely be on Joe Root, who will be eager to get the ball rolling with a victory in the first Test.
Possible playing XI: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, James Bracey (wk), Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Zak Crawley, Jack Leach and Craig Overton/Mark Wood.
Nevertheless, New Zealand aren’t easy target by any means. Fortunate with a compelling bowling attack, the Kiwis have been one of the sides to defeat over the last couple of years. Their involvement in the much-awaited World Test Championship final against India soon in the month only adds importance to their records.
Although Trent Boult is likely to be given a rest for the first Test, the Kiwis have Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee to cash on, apart from a robust batting roster led by the cool and collected Kane Williamson.
Possible playing XI: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Neil Wagner,Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
A spirited game amongst the bat and ball is anticipated at Lord’s. The speedsters should get the ball to seam and swing around early on, with the batters having to bide their time at the crease. Although there isn’t much turn and grip on bid, the spin bowlers might play a part later in this game.
Weather shouldn’t be a concern during this series, but a few clouds should soar around in the first session of each day. Both sides will look to bowl upon winning the toss and make decent use of the circumstances early on.
Although there isn’t much to split up the two teams on paper, New Zealand, provided their experience and stability, might hold the advantage ahead of the series. A victory will be on their thoughts as they face England for the first time at Lord’s since the legendary 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup final. However, we should be in for an extremely entertaining match of Test cricket as both sides eye a vital victory.
But, owing to the home conditions, the sportsbooks have made England the favorites with the pre-match odds of 1.86, New Zealand trailing at 3.15 and a draw at 5.25. Pondering that rationale and the fact that New Zealand have now devoted enough time in English situations to get familiar with the weather, we would be putting our money on a Kiwi victory in the first game.