All the test cricket action between the Black Caps and England.
All you need to know ahead of the first test between the Black Caps and England.
New Zealand v England, from 2pm, Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui.
First session - 2pm-4pm. Tea 4pm-4.20pm
Second session - 4.20pm-6.20pm. Dinner 6.20pm-7pm
Final session - 7pm-9pm
Cricket is back!
It is February 16 and the official home test season is ready to begin! The Black Caps and England square off in a two test series starting at Bay Oval with a pink ball test. The second test begins at New Zealand’s premier oval, the Basin Reserve on February 24.
A little bit has changed to this Black Caps side since their last home test against South Africa almost a year ago. They’ve gone almost a year without a win, their last victory coming in the first test against the Proteas last February.
Since then they lost three tests to England and drew twice in Pakistan. Tim Southee is captain for his first official home series making the big calls in the field and when to declare. Trent Boult is no longer considered for test selection after not taking a centralised contract with New Zealand Cricket while Kyle Jamieson is also out for the series after suffering a stress fracture in his back, which derails his comeback from a back injury. Matt Henry will miss the first test as he awaits the birth of his child.
But what they lack in bowlers they make up for in batsmen who seem to find test cricket way too easy.
New Zealand still have a strong top six in the reliable as ever Kane Williamson (test average of 53.83) newish duo of Devon Conway (54.76) and Daryl Mitchell (58.35) along with Tom Blundell (42.61), Tom Latham (41.91), Henry Nicholl (37.94) that should be 300 runs on the board right there.
England have a lot of fire and it stands with two old hands, right hands to be specific. Stuart Broad and James Anderson first played in the same test together 15 years ago against the Black Caps at the Basin Reserve, between them taking 10 wickets as England went on to win by 126 (one of Broad’s victims being one B B McCullum). Between them, they combine for 1241 test wickets as Anderson (675) edges closer to Shane Warne’s 708 as second on the all-time list.
Something to note. Anderson has dismissed Kane Williamson seven times in tests, four of those caught behind.
Recent history says
The two teams squared off in a three test series in England last June, which the hosts won 3-0. They last met at Bay Oval in 2019 with the Black Caps winning by an innings and 65 runs. BJ Watling (now retired) scored 205 and Mitchell Santner (not in the current squad) made 126 as the Black Caps made 615 for nine declared. Neil Wagner (he’s playing today!) finished the match with eight wickets.
Since McCullum took over as test coach, England have won nine of 10 tests.
Black Caps (likely XI): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Henry Nicholls, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Michael Bracewell, 8 Tim Southee (capt), 9 Neil Wagner, 10 Jacob Duffy, 11 Blair Tickner.
England (likely XI): 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.
Last five matches:
New Zealand LLLDD
Aleem Dar, Chris Gaffaney.
New Zealand - $2.50, Draw - $4.45, England - $2.11
How to watch
The Herald will provide live updates at nzherald.co.nz/sport.
The game will be broadcast and streamed live on Spark Sport and the Spark Sport app. The ACC will be covering every ball live on Spark Sport from 2pm each day. Text “Cricket” to 3236 for a link to the coverage.
The ACC’s BYC podcast opening partnership of Dylan Cleaver and Andrew Alderson will also review each day’s play which will be available on nzherald.co.nz.
Watch every match of the Black Caps v England series live on Spark Sport