About the Match
Just as the T20 carnival is coming to its final days of the season, the focus now shifts to the longest version of the game, Test Cricket. The two match test series between England and the Kiwis would begin with its first game to be played on 16th May at 10:00 GMT at Lord’s. It has been a long break from Test Cricket for both the sides and getting on with it can be difficult. Many players involved in the IPL didn’t play in the IPL, which means that they would be fresh. Last time when the teams met, it was a nail-biting contest and nothing short is expected this time too.
As far as ICC Test Championship rankings are concerned, England sit pretty at second place, but they’ve be itching to go out and get closer to the first place. They have an excellent team on paper which beat India in India recently by 4-0. Captained by Alastair Cook, their batting looks all set to stay on the crease and score big runs. They would be missing the services of Kevin Pietersen, but they’ve got pretty good men to replace him. Joe Root scored a massive ton in the tour game against Kiwis and Jamie Bairstow excelled as well. Their batting looks settled with Prior, Trott and Bell in the middle. Their bowling is strengthened by the comeback of Jamie Anderson and Graeme Swann. England has been a tough to beat side since the beginning of Cricket, expect no different this time too.
New Zealand is not as well placed in rankings, but they’ve performed pretty well in the recent past. With players like Taylor and Mcullum, who can change the game on its head, their batting seems to be strong enough. Their bowling looks slightly out of form as the bowlers didn’t manage to bowl out domestic England squad in the tour game on what was a bowler friendly pitch. The team is young and energetic which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. While playing against England in England, experience is very important and the lack of it can really hurt the team’s balance. Overall, New Zealand have a good side on paper, but they’ve have to perform out of their skins to make a mark on this game.
England has been playing pretty well since the previous season and the comeback of Anderson and Swann increases their strength. They have an experienced side enriched with excellent batsmen and wicket taking bowlers. A relatively inexperienced squad of the Kiwis certainly helps the English side. In addition to that, New Zealand didn’t have a very good outing against the domestic side in the tour game. All the above factors tempt me to place a bet on England.
England, 1.57 @ Bet365
The batting lineup of the English team looks far better and experienced than the New Zealand. They bat deep and have the knowledge of home conditions too. It is very much expected of them to outscore the Kiwis as far as first innings is concerned.
1st Innings Lead:
England, 1.36 @ Bet365