England v New Zealand, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley May 23, 2013

Vettori ruled out, NZ bank on pace


Match Facts

May 24-28, 2013
Start time 11am (1000GMT)

The Big Picture

At Lord's, as the threat of Graeme Swann and the left-armers' footmarks hung above an unusually slow and turning pitch, New Zealand imploded like a science experiment gone wrong against the swing and seam of Stuart Broad and James Anderson. With Daniel Vettori ruled out of the second Test, Brendon McCullum will now have to trust in pace at Headingley, one of the most capricious grounds in England. Even he's not sure how it will pan out.

Vettori's lack of fitness after six weeks on the sidelines at the IPL is perhaps unsurprising but, having elected not to call up Jeetan Patel, in the country and bowling fruitfully for Warwickshire, after Bruce Martin's injury, New Zealand will field a four-man fast-bowling attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Doug Bracewell, with Kane Williamson's offspin for backup. When asked whether Headingley was as good a place as any to be without a frontline spinner, McCullum shrugged and said "I don't know". Perhaps he was more concerned about the batting, after a second sub-100 kneecapping of 2013, but given Wagner's assertion on Wednesday that McCullum would have Vettori to fall back on as he combines batting and wicketkeeping with the captaincy, his lack of conviction may have been reflective of a greater loss.

Vettori would have become New Zealand's most-capped Test player had he been involved but they will have to do without his great reservoir of experience - not to mention his great beard - as they seek a first Test win in England since 1999 that would help them square the series. For England, there is the chance to build up some irresistible momentum ahead of the Ashes, as well as seal the series.

For three drawn Tests in New Zealand, followed by three close-fought days at Lord's, there was little to tell between the two teams but, having punched a hole, England will now hope the dam bursts. Headingley has borne witness to some of the more inglorious moments of their recent history - Darren Pattinson's selection, Kevin Pietersen's unravelling - but, with Joe Root batting like a young Len Hutton, they will hope Yorkshire turns out in force to oversee another ecky thumping. The local bean-counters will certainly have their fingers crossed.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WDDDD New Zealand LDDDL

Watch out for

Stuart Broad has generally struggled to string together telling contributions with the ball in Tests - only during the 2009 Ashes has he taken five-wicket hauls in consecutive matches - but as he tore through New Zealand for 7 for 44 at Lord's, there was genuine hope that he can sustain his golden groove. Last year, he took eight wickets at Headingley against South Africa, and he has the opportunity to prey on a psychologically fragile New Zealand line-up again.

Despite a stunning 171 on Test debut, Hamish Rutherford's returns since then have been more in keeping with the struggles of his recent predecessors at opener. He got two good deliveries at Lord's, which can happen batting against the new ball, and the form of his partner, Peter Fulton, is arguably of greater concern for New Zealand, but 88 runs at an average of 14.66 since England first encountered him suggests they have done their homework.

Team news

An unchanged squad is likely to result in an unchanged XI, given the way England usually go about their selection business. Steven Finn is still searching for rhythm, but cleaned up New Zealand's tail in the first innings at Lord's to prove that pace is its own virtue, though he could still lose his place to Tim Bresnan, whose local knowledge gives him an edge.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Nick Compton, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Joe Root, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn

Vettori was not deemed fit to last five days, so New Zealand have had a four-man pace attack effectively foisted on them. England controversially dropped Graeme Swann and tried the tactic against South Africa last year, only for Pietersen to be their second-most successful bowler, meaning Williamson could be in for some extended spells. Martin Guptill will replace BJ Watling and stiffen the batting, with McCullum taking the gloves and dropping a place in the order.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Peter Fulton, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Dean Brownlie, 6 Martin Guptill, 7 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 8 Tim Southee, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

Pitch and conditions

Despite being bowled out for 96 in their opening innings of the county season, Yorkshire have generally piled on the runs at home, with Root and Jonny Bairstow providing the bulk of their 677 for 7 declared against Derbyshire at the start of May. Although it could be on the slow side, when the clouds roll over the pitch can still do strange things - and there are showers forecast for Friday.

Stats and trivia

  • England's last win at Headingley came against West Indies in 2007. Since then they have lost two and drawn one.

  • Stuart Broad needs nine wickets to reach 200 in Tests; three will take him past Jim Laker to become England's 15th-most successful bowler.

  • Three wickets or more at Headingley will see James Anderson pass Fred Trueman's tally of 307 Test wickets on the Yorkshireman's home ground.

  • Peter Fulton has made 34 runs in five innings on tour so far.


"Over the last couple of years there have been some high-scoring games here and it's quite similar to Lord's. If it's sunny it can be a nice pitch to bat on and we will have to work hard in every session."
England captain Alastair Cook hopes to stay on the right side of Headingley

"Dan, Mike Hesson and I spoke about how Dan was feeling and he wasn't quite confident he'd be able to get through five days."
Daniel Vettori's condition is explained by Brendon McCullum

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on May 24, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    I think it a little unhelpful to say of Vettori "Could someone please explain what is wrong with Vettori's fitness...all he has to do is bowl 20 odd overs and bat at No 10). There is little point in selecting someone to bowl 20-odd overs and bat at number 10. One would expect Vettori (or Swann or any other front line spinner) to be comfortable to bowl 30-odd overs IN A DAY and then come back the next day and do it again, if the conditions happen to suit or the seam bowlers don't do well. Batting at No 10 isn't going to be significantly less stressful than batting at No 8 - or number 4 for that matter. Vettori would be fine in either position. No, sad, but unfortunately true, he is undercooked and not ready to play. Hopefully he soon will be. He's younfer than Swann.... should be able to go on until he is 40 if he is wellpmanaged, but not just at the moment.

  • Dean on May 24, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    @JG2704, Judging by what I have seen NZL will have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to a spin bowler. It seems pretty clear to me that Vettori won't play many more tests though I would expect him to remain part of the Ltd overs set up until 2015 WC. Martin has been able to hold down an end effectivly & do a good containment job against Eng but I doubt he will manage that against more aggresive batting units, I suspect had KP seen a bit more of him in the recent games his ER would not be so flattering & at 33 he's hardly one for the future. Patel is the other guy who has played recently but an ave approaching 50 for 52 wickets is a poor return for any frontline bowler. I doubt NZL are considering him anymore as he is playing FC cricket with War & would have been avaialble at the drop of a hat. As someone who dosen't following FCC in NZL very closely i'm not aware of any players coming through but BM inclusion at 33 would tend to suggest the stocks are not high right now.

  • Nicholas on May 24, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    @pt_pt (post on May 24, 2013, 5:22 GMT): do you honestly think it's worth picking a non-fit player against a fired-up England team for a full test match? I really like Vettori and there's no doubt NZ are missing him (when in good form) in the team; but wasting a position in a test team with a non-fit player these days is suicide.

    Re. England, I would love to see Bresnan in for Finn - but hey; it looks like the man-of-the-match award will go to U.K.'s weather once again...

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Hard to make predictions when NZ is prone to collapses, even on the back of a few days excellent play. The inconsistency of Finn and Broad make it even harder. Just hope its another good contest I guess, come on you Kiwis, land a punch or two!

  • Paul on May 24, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Joe Root being compared to the best English batsman since WW2? Interesting comment.

  • John on May 24, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    TBH - re NZ - I think it could be a blessing in disguise. Wagner is a workhorse and opinions seem to have been divided as to who is the best of the other 3. Martin - to me - even when taking wickets has not looked that great. It could be that he's better than he looks but I thought Eng played him with too much respect. Boycott was very uncomplimentary about him and while I wouldn't be as blunt as him , the part time spin of Williamson has always looked the greater threat anyway.

  • Mayan on May 24, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    New Zealand's bowling is almost on par with the best in the world, but their batting is hopelessly inadequate and is the real reason why they just will not win test matches against the likes of Australia, England and South Africa.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    So the Lancashire lad is going to exclipse the Yorkshire great's wicket tally at the latter's home ground huh? Adds a bit of ironic spice to this game. I can see England ripping through NZ again, but I hope I'm wrong and that the kiwis can give us a good fight for the entire match this time. As for the spin thing, Jeetan Patel should have been called up as he is already here playing pretty well in the county game. If the worst happened, and he bowled badly, at least they tried. A one dimensional attack (albeit with some P/T from Williamson) is a risk that could be embarrassingly exposed if Swann makes a dramatic impact.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Feels like November in Yorkshire today - can't help thinking Danny V has done the right thing!

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    With zero match play of late and pretty ordinary recent past performances with bat and ball it would have been madness to have picked Vettori. Loved the remarks from SameOld. What more drama can nz cricket produce? We long suffering supporters have seen it all. Bottom line however is that we will be lucky to go 4 days in this test and the English seamers will again destroy our technically inadequate batting lineup. We seem to have neither the skills nor patience to bat in long form cricket except in the most batting friendly conditions. It must be heart breaking to be a Kiwi bowler. 20 or more years of being there or thereabouts with the ball (i.e. limiting opponents to not excessive totals in most instances) only to see the batsmen blow it time after time. If I were a Southee or Boult I would have tried to naturalize in OZ years ago.