Time: June 10, 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Surprisingly, we will witness another featherbed for batsmen, although there will be more bounce at Edgbaston than what we saw at Lord’s.
If the conditions remain dry, we might see some turn towards the end of the Test.
Probable Playing XIs
England have added Dom Bess in place of Ollie Robinson. However, there are more chances of Jack Leach or Craig Overton taking over Robinson’s spot for the second and final Test.
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence, James Bracey (wk), Jack Leach/Craig Overton, Mark Wood/Olly Stone, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Kane Williamson and Mitchell Santner have been ruled out due to injuries.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Devon Conway, Will Young, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Players to watch out for
Devon Conway has softs hands and a relaxed mind. That’s all you need to survive in English conditions. But he did more, far more than that. He scored a double-hundred on debut, etching his name on the Lord’s honour board. There’s not a thing he could have done better, and that makes him the top fantasy player for the Test.
Rory Burns was in such fine form that he swept a pacer for a six. If anything, he looked at ease. More importantly, he waited for his moments. Had other English batsmen stayed at the crease, Burns too would have fetched a double-ton.
Tim Southee ran in and swung the ball away from the fourth stump. An occasional ball held its line, catching the batsmen in two minds. To cut it short, he kept it simple and never got bored of it. The result was a 6-for in the first innings at a mind-numbing economy of 1.7. Talk about discipline!
If James Anderson plays the Test, he will surpass Alastair Cook to become the most-capped player for England in the format. At Edgbaston, he has superior figures: in 11 Tests he has scalped 44 wickets.
Joe Root too has magnificent numbers here. In 5 Tests he has managed 481 runs including 1 hundred and 4 fifties. He looked in ominous touch in the first Test, but as he is reputed for, he failed to make it big.
Henry Nicholls was rock solid at Lord’s. Nothing seemed to have bothered him. 61 off 175 may not have been entertaining, but it did the job just enough for his team. There’s a reason he appears in the top 10 batsmen in ICC Test Rankings.
Kane Williamson did not add much to the scoreboard, but his presence can keep the opposition on its toes. With him unavailable, England will be more relaxed. Apart from Convoy and Nicholls, none of the New Zealand batsmen looked calm at the crease. The English pacers should have it easy if they play with the right mindset and strategy.
That being said, England too have problems. The lack of regular all-rounders have left a huge chink in their armoury, and with Robinson out, they seem to be in a spot of bother. All depends on how the weather plays and the bowlers perform.