England v New Zealand, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley May 21, 2013

England unchanged for second Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

England have named an unchanged 12-man squad for the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley, following their 170-run victory at Lord's, after Ian Bell recovered from the illness that hampered him in the opening contest.

Bell was diagnosed with tonsillitis which kept him off the field for the majority of the game following his first-innings 31 on the opening day. He batted at No. 8 in the second innings.

Tim Bresnan, on his homeground, will again be vying for the final pace-bowling slot alongside Steven Finn who took four wickets in the first innings at Lord's but was inconsistent. If Bresnan does play his first Test since last December it would mean three Yorkshire cricketers in the side with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow part of the top order.

Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "I thought the team showed a lot of fighting spirit when under pressure to set up the victory. We are aware that there are still areas that we need to improve on and the players and coaches will be working hard ahead of the second Test."

Finn was not required in the second innings, when New Zealand crumbled for 68, as England needed just two bowlers through an all-out innings for the first time since 1936. A few minutes after the win was completed, Finn was back out in the middle bowling on an adjacent pitch under the watchful eye of bowling coach David Saker.

"He probably isn't bowling as well as he could, but he's getting wickets," Saker said. "He's got that knack of getting wickets. He's got the pace. We're just working on a few little things but I'm sure he'll be all right and confident by Leeds."

There have been some high scores at Headingley this season and the batsmen from both sides will hope for slightly more favourable conditions. In the Championship match against Derbyshire, Yorkshire made 677 for 7, which included a double century from Root and Bairstow's 186. The pair also added 231 for the fourth wicket. In the same match, Chesney Hughes, the Derbyshire opener, hit an unbeaten 270.

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  • John on May 23, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Assuming everybody is fit, I don't see England making any changes for the second test. Finn needs to bowl as much as possible to get his action grooved. He's got the pace which England needs to complement the swing of Anderson. Sitting in the pavilion won't help him and the downside of the England set-up is that if he doesn't play he won't get any cricket at all. As for playing Bresnan at 7, it's England's batting which needs help, not the bowling.

    I'm still not convinced about Compton, but with Root showing his class England should get enough runs for Anderson & co. to work with. I'd like to see Swann getting more work in as well, although England in May isn't usually very friendly to spinners.

  • Rod on May 21, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    On the bowling front I'd take Bresnan over Finn at the moment. Broad proved how effective he CAN be in the last match, but he and Finn are just too erratice to have in the same team right now.

    I'm also starting to worry about our batting depth. If Bell were to be unfit and they had to bring in someone like Taylor, that would be a pretty weak line-up with only Cook and Trott remaining from this time last year when we had a stable top five all very experienced and averaging around 45-50. On the other hand, if we could put together a line-up of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, and Root for the Ashes, I'd be pretty happy. Assuming all are fit, when KP comes back it has to be a straight choice between Compton and Bairstow, and for me Compton has looked the part a lot more than Bairstow so far.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    It is to be hoped that the wicket produced at Headingley is a bit better. The Lord's pitch favoured bowlers too much making it a bit of a lottery. Hence 18 wickets falling for much less than 200 runs. If such a pitch had been produced in NZ, I think there'd have been more than a small amount of complaining. As it was there were endless gripes about the pitches in Dunedin and Auckland...though strangely fewer about the Wellington pitch where England did a bit better. Funny that...

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    That's a fair enough call. My belief is that Bresnan would be marginally preferred to Finn. Would also like to see Root opening with Cook. Give the kid a go up the top and tell him that he doesn't have to worry about being dropped so he can play natural. With Bell out of form over the past year or so there is no-one in the top four who can accelerate an innings and counterattack the bowlers. Good batsmen, but accumulators rather than strokeplayers.

  • Samuel on May 21, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Fair dos on the unchanged squad, get the feeling Bresnan might come in for Finn though - he bowls the right length for Headingley (unsurprisingly considering it's his home ground) and although Finn picked up wickets at Lord's, they were mainly tail enders and as I've been saying for a while, he looks confused: at times, you wonder whether he actually knows how he's trying to get batsmen out. Bres has come back strongly from injury and whilst I wouldn't have brought him back so soon, I think he's more likely to cause a consistent threat. He also has the added bonus of strengthening the batting line-up somewhat, and after the late order collapses at Lord's that may come into play too, rightly or wrongly.

  • Jason on May 21, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    I think the only doubts for the test at headingly are Finn, Bell and Bairstow. Finn and Bairstow due to performance and Bell due to Injury.

    I understand that bell is reported to have recovered from the ailment but will 4 days be enough to recover.

    Bresnan for Finn might be a good idea, but there is no replacement for Bairstow in this squad unless they draft in Taylor at some point as cover incase Bell isnt well.

  • Michael on May 21, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    The Lords win was extremely satisfying and reasonably one might expect more of the same. Before Lords people were talking about the massive feast of runs which would ensue but to be honest no-one apart from Taylor batted at speed. Will Headingley be as chock full of runs as some are saying? I hope not because I remember some of those thrillers of past years when tight seam bowling controls the game. Will Finn retain his place is the main question for England and it must 50/50 only as Bresnan is a local with a good record for the year. Bell needs runs made at a better rate,as does Bairstow.

  • Peter on May 21, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    @Blake Houston. That's not a bad idea at all. Headingley has seen tons of runs this year, and an extra bowler (who can bat) will help take 20 wickets. It'd be a positive move from England, and though Bairstow could have a bright Test future, he doesn't look ready yet. Can't see England doing this though, but Bresnan must be fancied on his home ground to replace Finn. Headingley does nothing for bowlers who bowl too short, and that's something that Finn needs to address. Having said that, Finn still picks-up wickets even when his bowling is inconsistent. Bresnan is looking like his old self and has had a good start to the season, so I'd pick him if it's a straight choice between him and Finn.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Play Bresnan instead of Bairstow, he'll score just as many runs and take a few wickets as well!!

  • Randolph on May 21, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    If I were NZ I would focus on their batting. Apart fro Anderson, who is far too overrated but nonetheless a handy bowler, their attack (if you could call it that) is fairly toothless and we all know how poor their batting is so we won't mention that here.

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