Bowl at Boycs February 28, 2013

'England can clean New Zealand up'

ESPNcricinfo staff
Geoff Boycott on why England's seamers could be too hot to handle for New Zealand's batsmen

ST: The first question is from Ashton in England about the series going on in New Zealand. He says: England's new-ball attack has impressed in the one-day series and Joe Root has looked superb as a batsman. England start favourites in the Tests but are there any areas in which you think New Zealand can pose a challenge?

GB: No. Man for man, England are far superior. If New Zealand are to shock England and win, I believe they have to play out of their skin, or they have to look at the weather conditions that affect the pitch and give New Zealand a big advantage, or England have to get complacent and bat very badly.

I watched New Zealand recently in South Africa. During the Test matches I was surprised by their poor batting technique against, let it be said, high-quality South African seam bowling.

England have quality bowlers. James Anderson is a superb craftsman, and Steven Finn, off a new, shorter, run, is very accurate, with great height and a tall, high action. He's been getting the ball at pace at an awkward height at the batsmen in the one-dayers. If he gets pitches with any bit of help in terms of pace and bounce, it's going to cause enormous problems for them. If they pick a slow and low type of pitch that we keep playing on, then the bounce, or the lack of bounce, will help the New Zealand batsmen contend with him. But if there is any bounce or pace, England can clean them up.

I haven't seen anything in the New Zealand bowling to concern England. I'm quite aware that New Zealand, at the moment, have one high-quality cricketer in Brendon McCullum, the captain. I think he is a very top-class cricketer. They are lucky to have Ross Taylor back - he is a good batsman. But having said that, New Zealand are going through a period without any high-end players. In the past they have had players like Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe, who made a difference in the side. This set of players is very good, hard-working; they are decent cricketers. But for a country - I always say this - of five million people, they are doing splendid. But just at this moment, they are a more average side. They work hard, they'll compete hard, they are very good competitors, they'll field very well. But really, in terms of ability and technique, I would expect England to win.

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  • Ali on March 2, 2013, 6:54 GMT


    geoff - has put his foot in his mouth yet again .....

    England seamers failed to defend 333 ......

    well done NZ

    how many 4th innings chases over 300 have been successful without anyone scoring a 100 ?

    is the the 1st ? time to ask Steven

  • Martin on March 2, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    The more I see of the England test batsmen, the more optomistic I am that NZ can produce an upset win in a game, or potentially the series. Also for the benefit of Boycs, our current population esimate stands at 4.405 million, still a long way from 5 million.

  • Mike on February 28, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    @ dogcather. Finn was the only player to bowl well when we were hammered 5-0 in the ODI series a while back, often picking up good figures and bowling over 90mph for much of his spells Then in the recent Test series Finn again bowled well. All this on pitches where he was not getting any help and also as Geoff points out he is now a BETTER bowler of this shorter run. IMO Finn would get into any Indian side as he does bowl with pace. Right now and historically India only have 'popgun' bowlers.OK Yadav is sharp but not super quick and if I remember right currently injured anyway. As for the NZ tour I agree with Geoffs points again he knows his stuff does Geoff.

    plz publish !

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Why do the kiwis dish up these bouncy tracks that suit english pacemen? Perhaps some thought should go into that.

  • Dean on February 28, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    You would think on paper at least this should be a straightforward series for Eng. The conditions should suit our quicker bowlers & you feel NZL will be out gunned in that department. NZL have Southee & Boult who are decent & could give our batsman a few problems but they don't really seem to have any real threats in the bowling department, i'm not sure what has happened to Bracewell is he injured or just out of sorts? In terms of the batsman Taylor is NZL's only proven testquality batsman really. McCullum's record as a batsman is modest & his technique is far more suited to the shorter forms of the game. In Brownlee & Watling NZL do have a couple of useful batsman who could help improve the standard of the batting over the next few yrs. However watling looks like he will be asked to keep wicket. IMO he should probably open & Ronchi be brought in to keep. Vettori & Ryder continue to be big losses for NZL.

  • ped on February 28, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Time for Geoffrey to retire. - McCullum over Taylor? Surely not. - Fynn a very good bowler - not so in India and how will he deal with the new no ball issue he faces - SA battle away from home, Geoffrey the stats will show that SA battled at home and were better away, that is until very recently. I agree that a void will be left when Kallis goes but no team just replaces a Ponting, Kallis, Warne etc. They do have 4 batsmen in the top 20 with Vernon Philander becoming more and more of an all rounder, AB proving he can score runs and keep wicket therefore allowing for that extra seamer or even batter.

  • Kevin on February 28, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    @ Gagg. Definitely a wise approach, but I guess 'better' isnt just measured by technique or average. Both have the potential to cause England lots of problems but I suspect McCullum is in better shape to do it at the moment, for lots of reasons.

  • Garry on February 28, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    "I'm quite aware that New Zealand, at the moment, have one high-quality cricketer in Brendon McCullum, the captain. I think he is a very top-class cricketer. They are lucky to have Ross Taylor back - he is a good batsman"

    He rates McCullum a better batsman than Taylor O.o I must remember to take anything Boycott says with a grain of salt from now on.

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