England v NZ, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 3rd day May 26, 2013

Swann, Finn prove England have a Plan B

  shares 121

England 354 and 116 for 1 (Cook 88*, Trott 11*) lead New Zealand 174 (Swann 4-42, Finn 3-36) by 296 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

If not, perhaps, quite a perfect day for England, but a day when several pieces of their pre-Ashes jigsaw fell into place with a satisfying click.

Most pertinently, this was a day when England proved their bowling attack had a Plan B. While it is routinely suggested that, when the ball does not swing, the England bowling attack looks toothless and one dimensional, here they showed that they have what it takes to damage opposition sides when there is no such help.

With James Anderson and Stuart Broad - the destroyers of New Zealand at Lord's - struggling to gain the same seam or swing movement, it was left to Graeme Swann and Steven Finn to find another way through the tourists' batting. With Finn generating impressive pace and maintaining a hostile line and length and Swann demonstrating beguiling drift and sharp turn, England ended the day having inked in their first choice bowling attack for the Ashes.

Swann cannot have the fondest memories of this ground. He had never previously taken a Test wicket here and, a year ago, was dropped for the second Test against South Africa. But in a spell of three wickets for one run in seven balls he not only dismantled a disappointingly fragile New Zealand middle-order but proved that he was back to his best after elbow surgery had forced him out of the Tests in New Zealand.

As so often before, Swann struck in his first over. Gaining a surprising amount of turn, Swann beat Dean Brownlie's somewhat loose stroke with one that turned through the gate to hit the top of off stump. Next over, having set-up Martin Guptill with some flat deliveries, Swann tossed one up, drew the batsman forward and again turned one through the gate to hit the top of off stump.

Two deliveries later, Kane Williamson was out too. Moving across his stumps to negate Swann much in the way demonstrated by Hashim Amla in 2012, Williamson was beaten by turn and struck on the pad. While Marais Erasmus turned down the appeal, England reviewed and were rewarded.

It was the first of two decisions overturned from England reviews in the session. While Tim Southee was originally given not out following a leg before appeal from Broad - the umpire quite reasonably unable to say whether ball had hit bat or pad first - reviews showed it had struck the pad first and was going on to hit leg stump.

Moments later Swann had Doug Bracewell taken at silly point, prodding forward to one that turned and took bat and pad, before Broad had Brendon McCullum, clearly struggling with a bad back after being forced back into service as wicketkeeper, caught behind as he poked at one that seamed in a little.

It left Swann with the best figures - 4 for 42 - by an England spinner in a Test in Leeds since John Emburey took 5 for 82 against Australia in 1985 and had New Zealand pondering over the wisdom of going into the game without a specialist spinner and with two left-arm seamers whose foot marks had provided rough for Swann to exploit.

But if Swann takes the plaudits, it was Finn who made the initial breakthrough. After New Zealand's openers had batted with fluency in reaching 55 without loss, Finn claimed the first three wickets in a sustained spell of hostile fast bowling.

After prompting an error from Peter Fulton, caught and bowled off the leading edge as he tried to work a ball that bounced more than he expected into the leg side, Finn persuaded Hamish Rutherford to push at one angled across him which resulted in a sliced edge to gully and then forced Ross Taylor to play-on. It was due reward for a wonderfully sustained spell of bowling where Finn had cramped Taylor for room, struck him twice on the body and finally provoked the false stroke.

New Zealand's last pair of Neil Wagner and Trent Boult thrashed 52 runs in 27 balls - Wagner thrashed four fours in an over off Broad before Boult thumped Swann for a four and two successive sixes in the next over - but when Anderson returned to end the innings, New Zealand had conceded a first innings lead of 180.

Perhaps surprisingly given the far from promising weather forecast, England decided not to enforce the follow-on - with day one washed out the follow-on target was 150-behind - and opted instead for another bat.

Alastair Cook, cutting and driving with freedom, was at his most fluent against an attack lacking Trent Boult, who was absent with a side strain. The England captain raced to his half-century off 63 balls and dominated an opening stand of 72 in 20 overs.

But the only obvious downside in the entire day for England was the failure of Nick Compton. He was clearly mindful of the vultures circling around him and laboured for 45 deliveries for his seven runs before falling to a bat-pad catch at short-leg. It is only three Tests since he registered back-to-back Test centuries, but it seems some have short memories.

Jonathan Trott found life little easier. Struggling to deal with the rough outside his off stump and some tight seam bowling, he managed only 11 off 69 deliveries, and, though he had helped Cook stretch the lead to 296 by stumps, England hardly forced home their advantage in the final 90 minutes. Still, it is England's policy - rightly or wrongly - to not allow the possibility of weather disruption to influence their game plan and, with nearly 200 overs left in the game, they remain in an overwhelmingly dominant position.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on May 27, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Great day for England.They should win 2-0 now.

    It was highly relieving to see Finny getting back into his rhythm after the perils of the first test. His pace and accuracy were back and he did well to get enough bounce from a seemingly flat deck. I was always sure that Swann would be just as good and effective as he has been in the past , surgery or no surgery and flat decks or no flat decks. He was brilliant and his delivery to get out Guptill deserves a special mention.

    It almost felt order is being restored with Cook closing in on a 100 , something which he hasn't done for 7 innings now and is pretty unusual for an accumulator like him. Although the pace of his innings surprised me. You don't see Cooky having an SR of 80 to 90 pretty often, do you ? Compton looked very tentative and unsure.He has to be more positive and try to score more and block less , especially when the team is in a strong position.

    Terrible for NZ that Boult ,who has been their best seamer, had to walk off.

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @whofriggincares (May 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT) You talk about "getting excited about beating the Kiwis". Actually nobody here is. Your comment is pretty hilarious coming from an Aussie. Last time I looked Australia drew with New Zealand in the Test series in Australia. If anyone were to get excited about beating the Kiwis - I would have thought it would be Australia - seeings as how they failed to do so last time over there in Australia....

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories on (May 27, 2013, 10:06 GMT) Have to love the user name. A bit of irony there after what happened in India recently @ozziespirit on (May 27, 2013, 10:38 GMT) Personally I don't think we (England) will necessarily thrash (or even beat) the Oz side. Australia might be weaker on paper but have a decent pace attack and I believe Rodgers (who has played many successful CC campaigns over here) will add some much needed stability to the batting line up

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @5wombats on (May 27, 2013, 9:03 GMT) Yeah , there was a real feel good factor in Ashes 2005 , like there was with the Froch/Kessler fight on Saturday. We were playing our best cricket when we were playing attacking cricket. In the Ashes 2005 we had that 5/1/5 formation and our batsmen playing positively. It was beautiful to watch. Good hard cricket from both sides on the pitch and full respect from the Aussies afterwards. India 2011 was similar apart from the 5/1/5 and the respect we got for playing so well. Since then we seem to have been scared to lose alot of the time above confident of winning.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 27, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Owned? Why is that, because a couple of english supporters disagree with me? It's called an opinion. The fact of the matter is that in 2005 and 2009 a little bit of luck Australia's way(and less dodgy umpiring, thanks very much Rudy)and Australia would have won both series. That's obvious if you watched both series, whether or not they played better cricket is irrelevant. Maybe people should read a post thoroughly before they comment.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 27, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    Once again, everyone is missing the point: England need to follow the weather forecast! There is a huge band of rain moving its way towards Leeds, and will most likely rule out most/all of Tuesday's play. England are bowling well; England are batting well; England are fiedling well; but they lack a 'killer-instinct' (win at all costs). Yes great cricket is fantastic for the game's future, but it's disappointing to see a strong team play for a draw which otherwise should have been an almost certain win. Very poor, selfish decision from Cook to bat again. England's bowlers were not tired! P.S. RandyOZ: Swann is writing a new chapter in his book: "how left-handed opposition bowlers help me take wickets!"

  • whofriggincares on May 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    It really is hilarious reading @FFL getting excited about England beating the Kiwis. the fact of the matter is that good sides (which England undoubtedly is) should be dominating the kiwis, but in this back to back series it is only happening now right at the end. The way they have mixed their form over the past couple of years must be of huge concern to the England coaching staff. Good performances are too few and far between from Broad , Finn and Bell. Even the one player that has been so important against the Aussies Trott, has started to be a bit up and down. You can say what you like about the kiwi line up being the toughest you will face this year but anyone with any idea about the game knows that if you dont up the ante the Aussies will make you pay even in England. Oh and @FFL stop embarrasing yourself by posting as @ozziespirit. Perhaps all those years of beltings has left you subconsciously wishing you were an Aussie.Mmm food for thought?

  • mikkkk on May 27, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Tomorrow will be rained up so if it's gonna be 2-0 they'll have to do it today. England look like they are playing for the draw though:-)

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 27, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    you just got owned @pomshaveshortmemories hahaaa

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories - I can see that we are ggoing to have some fun with you this summer.

  • cric_J on May 27, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Great day for England.They should win 2-0 now.

    It was highly relieving to see Finny getting back into his rhythm after the perils of the first test. His pace and accuracy were back and he did well to get enough bounce from a seemingly flat deck. I was always sure that Swann would be just as good and effective as he has been in the past , surgery or no surgery and flat decks or no flat decks. He was brilliant and his delivery to get out Guptill deserves a special mention.

    It almost felt order is being restored with Cook closing in on a 100 , something which he hasn't done for 7 innings now and is pretty unusual for an accumulator like him. Although the pace of his innings surprised me. You don't see Cooky having an SR of 80 to 90 pretty often, do you ? Compton looked very tentative and unsure.He has to be more positive and try to score more and block less , especially when the team is in a strong position.

    Terrible for NZ that Boult ,who has been their best seamer, had to walk off.

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @whofriggincares (May 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT) You talk about "getting excited about beating the Kiwis". Actually nobody here is. Your comment is pretty hilarious coming from an Aussie. Last time I looked Australia drew with New Zealand in the Test series in Australia. If anyone were to get excited about beating the Kiwis - I would have thought it would be Australia - seeings as how they failed to do so last time over there in Australia....

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories on (May 27, 2013, 10:06 GMT) Have to love the user name. A bit of irony there after what happened in India recently @ozziespirit on (May 27, 2013, 10:38 GMT) Personally I don't think we (England) will necessarily thrash (or even beat) the Oz side. Australia might be weaker on paper but have a decent pace attack and I believe Rodgers (who has played many successful CC campaigns over here) will add some much needed stability to the batting line up

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @5wombats on (May 27, 2013, 9:03 GMT) Yeah , there was a real feel good factor in Ashes 2005 , like there was with the Froch/Kessler fight on Saturday. We were playing our best cricket when we were playing attacking cricket. In the Ashes 2005 we had that 5/1/5 formation and our batsmen playing positively. It was beautiful to watch. Good hard cricket from both sides on the pitch and full respect from the Aussies afterwards. India 2011 was similar apart from the 5/1/5 and the respect we got for playing so well. Since then we seem to have been scared to lose alot of the time above confident of winning.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 27, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Owned? Why is that, because a couple of english supporters disagree with me? It's called an opinion. The fact of the matter is that in 2005 and 2009 a little bit of luck Australia's way(and less dodgy umpiring, thanks very much Rudy)and Australia would have won both series. That's obvious if you watched both series, whether or not they played better cricket is irrelevant. Maybe people should read a post thoroughly before they comment.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 27, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    Once again, everyone is missing the point: England need to follow the weather forecast! There is a huge band of rain moving its way towards Leeds, and will most likely rule out most/all of Tuesday's play. England are bowling well; England are batting well; England are fiedling well; but they lack a 'killer-instinct' (win at all costs). Yes great cricket is fantastic for the game's future, but it's disappointing to see a strong team play for a draw which otherwise should have been an almost certain win. Very poor, selfish decision from Cook to bat again. England's bowlers were not tired! P.S. RandyOZ: Swann is writing a new chapter in his book: "how left-handed opposition bowlers help me take wickets!"

  • whofriggincares on May 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    It really is hilarious reading @FFL getting excited about England beating the Kiwis. the fact of the matter is that good sides (which England undoubtedly is) should be dominating the kiwis, but in this back to back series it is only happening now right at the end. The way they have mixed their form over the past couple of years must be of huge concern to the England coaching staff. Good performances are too few and far between from Broad , Finn and Bell. Even the one player that has been so important against the Aussies Trott, has started to be a bit up and down. You can say what you like about the kiwi line up being the toughest you will face this year but anyone with any idea about the game knows that if you dont up the ante the Aussies will make you pay even in England. Oh and @FFL stop embarrasing yourself by posting as @ozziespirit. Perhaps all those years of beltings has left you subconsciously wishing you were an Aussie.Mmm food for thought?

  • mikkkk on May 27, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Tomorrow will be rained up so if it's gonna be 2-0 they'll have to do it today. England look like they are playing for the draw though:-)

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 27, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    you just got owned @pomshaveshortmemories hahaaa

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories - I can see that we are ggoing to have some fun with you this summer.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 27, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    You keep telling yourself that @jackthelad, if you watched both series you would know what i mean.

  • javed.agrawala on May 27, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    As an outsider from Pakistan I would agree that the follow-on should be enforced whenever time, due to weather or for any other reason, has importance. But Boult was injured and I was given to understand he was NZ's best bowler on display.

  • ozziespirit on May 27, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories: Really that's an embarassing thing to say. Ironic seeing that your name includes the words 'short memories' too! England outplayed us in 2005, did you not see the series? Yes, helped by Mcgrath, but overall they played superior cricket. We laid waste to their depleted side in 2006/7. But from 2009 onwards they've been better than us almost every time. We got whitewashed in the 2012 ODI series. Are you for real?

  • jackthelad on May 27, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Aussies have shorter memories - England won in 2009 because they were better than a substandard Australian side carved out of the breakup of their Magnificent team; England then beat them again in Oz, for the same reason - and will do so again this year, for the same reason. Australia are a second-rate cricketing power, and only one-eyed Aussies can't see it.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 27, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    If all these English fans are so confident of a twin ashes whitewash in favour of England I find it strange that they have to keep re-assuring themselves that it will actually happen, BTW England won 2005 ashes because McGrath missed two tests and 2009 because at least 3hrs was lost in the 1st test due to bad weather, not to mention England blatent time wasting efforts in the 4th innings.

  • MartinC on May 27, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @Liliam Flynn

    Believe me I'm not taking it for granted - I spent far too long watching the Aussies hammer England and playing with some of those players in League cricket to ever take an Aussie team lightly. But England go into this series as strong favourites - but that means nothing once the first Test starts.

    Going to be a cracking series if the weather plays its part!

  • on May 27, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @MartinC

    I wouldn't take anything for granted in a team that finally notched up a win against NZ in their fourth game. The Aussie batting is schizophrenic, the Aussie bowling has fantastic potential but is untested for the most part, the English team is on the whole overhyped. Going to be a cracker of a series :)

  • thebeardedblunder on May 27, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Trott are you playing in a different game or what? Trying to hold out for a draw? We want bums on seats and the public need to see just what an exciting game Test cricket can be! And as for poor old Nick Compton, he's got the look of a man who can't pay his electricity bill! You're in an enviable and honoured position as an England cricketer - at least try and look as though you're enjoying yourself!

  • 5wombats on May 27, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @A_Yorkshire_Lad (May 26, 2013, 22:31 GMT) Ha ha!! Point taken! :-)

    @JG2704. Indeed - 2005 was one of the BEST EVER Ashes and not just because we won it. Some of the performances there were extraordinary - Warne at Trent Bridge, Pietersen at the Oval, etc - just superb. I really hope that this Ashes will be just as memorable. Having said all that - completely agree; England here V New Zealand are not showing the kind of ambition or entertainment value that I'd be looking for.

  • liz1558 on May 27, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    a side issue here is the captain's home form. It's not bad, but away he averages 55 and at home 45; similar stats to Graam Smuth of SA. With NZs best bowler out, bearing in mind the lefties in Australia's attack, this could be a lean summer for Cook and his easiest opportunity to make a 100. Make hay while the sun shines. 150 not out at lunch. Declaration. Swann takes 7. GAME OVER.

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Re this debate whether to make a side bat again or enforce the follow on may I ask those who defend Cook's decision to give me recent examples (in non SC conditions) of sides who enforced the follow on ending up losing the game?

    I have given 2 examples of sides who have not enforced the follow on ending up drawing the game from the last 3 months

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    @110no on (May 26, 2013, 20:14 GMT) Agreed. I think Swann was just going along with the decision. I genuinely can't see how bowlers after bowling a side out in about a session would be anything else but chomping at the bit to get back out at the wounded bird with a very realistic chance of vastly improving their averages

    @Andy Plowright on (May 26, 2013, 20:23 GMT) I think Vaughan (who I think has been one of the guys who milked the no 1 ranking) forgets that the points gained are reflected by margins of victory in a series and also that we have plodders in the top 4 - Vaughan later went on to boo about Trott/Nick's SR.

  • yorkshirematt on May 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    It always irritates me when cricketers ignore the weather forecast. Yes it is sometimes wrong, but this band of rain has been forecast to sweep in on Tuesday for some days now.

  • MartinC on May 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Have to say I find the comments of some of our Aussie friends both amusing and also fascinating from a psychological perspective. Rubbishing an attack which has just bowled out a Test batting line up in back to back innings for less than a hundred and than less than 175 (with all 4 bowlers taking wickets) smacks a little of desperation ......

    I'm never going to totally write off an Aussie side but its going to be interesting to hear you rationalize the defeats which are looming against a team (England) which to read your posts can't bowl or bat.

  • kiwicricketnut on May 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    I've always said our players are uncoachable, they are all good players when they hit the international scene, they just never get any better. This though is only half true, when we have a descent coach we do allright, rixon had them humming and it is no surprise the bowlers are doing a fantastic job under shane bond who was such a cleaver player but the batting coach, bob carter i think his name is, has done a terrible job, the batters are going backwards at a great rate of knots, he should resign amediately after the tour, crowe has his own battle at the moment but he would be perfect, the best batter technically nz has ever produced, if not him then someone with international credability, enough is enough

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @Pyketts on (May 27, 2013, 0:16 GMT) Compton scored runs all over the place last season and I've been informed that Taunton was not always the road it was reputed to be last season. Yes he is in poor form and probably should be dropped but he has still scored 2 100s in 2 completed series which is a better ratio than a middle order pillar who has scored just 1 in 6 series and whose place in the side never seems to be questioned by the selectors

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    @ Shan156 - Hello - Listen I've done my reasoning re why I believe it is wrong to not make a side follow on (most of the time). I've also given 2 very recent examples where the dominant team has not made the opposition follow on and not gone on to win a game that looked in the bag. I don't recall recent examples of a team making another team follow on and the being defeated. Yes there are times when not enforcing the follow on is a good idea but one of the main factors here is the weather.When you don't know exactly how much time you have (due to weather) to bowl the side out 2nd it becomes guesswork. Eng should win as NZ are so low on confidence but if they don't... Re giving the batsmen extra practice they could do/have done that for their counties

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    @jackthelad on (May 26, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

    re Compton being unable to deal with pressure.

    He was under the same pressure when his imminent dropping was being talked about from most people in the media back in NZ and he scored tons in back to back tests. Yes he's horribly out of form and is probably trying too hard probably should be dropped but he has dealt with pressure before and come through

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    ESPN - Please publish this time. Nothing of offence and it's to a poster I have much respect for

    @CS - I said this vociferously and on each occasion was proven correct .NZ vs Eng and Somerset vs Warwicks both gave their opponents their best chance of escaping with a draw and on both occasions the opposition accepted the get out of jail card. With NZ - they basically batted for too long but at least they upped the pace in their inns and at least knew exactly the time left in the game. Somerset/Warwicks and this game are different in that

    A - Somerset/Eng had/have meandered through their inns with no urgency B - We don't/didn't know what a good declaration is because of the weather. We could declare with a day and a half to go and only get half that time to bowl them out. Yes we should win in 2 days - if we get 2 days.

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @5wombats - Sure , the number 1 thing is debateable but England (Flower/Cook etc) talk about how much they strive to get back there. Being how SA have become so dominant it will be hard enough anyway but near impossible if we play this cautiously. I hear what you're saying but guys like (yesterday) Trott and Nick weren't exactly promoting the entertainment value either. I'd love Eng to be as positive as the Ashes 2005 side - now that was entertaining , but merit the values of not giving your wicket away but this is a situation which does not need that - in fact requires the opposite. Listen , I said the same when NZ played Eng and Somerset played Warwicks and people were saying well NZ/Somerset will win anyway and look what happened. Also IMO you're risking losing momentum and momentum is huge in any sport. Somerset's form has dovetailed in the CC and NZ's looks to have done the same. I wonder what may have happened to each sides subsequent form had they both won?

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    @Rowayton on (May 27, 2013, 5:56 GMT), I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the info.

  • on May 27, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    I cant understand how NZ batsmen played the off break bowler. Did they not see how Kallis and amla did it. Even a klub player knows that you cannot defend towards the offside if the ball are spinning that big.

  • Greatest_Game on May 27, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge wrote "Swann : 4 - 42 on (a) seamers paradise." Swann did bowl very well, After today, & Aus' India debacle, struggling against spin seems an antipodean thing!

    After you claimed that Anderson's "reputation on either flat decks or green tops, anywhere in the world, precedes him," I expected, as you described, "a fired up Anderson working his magic and bowling the ball like it was on a piece of string." A trundling 1 for 34 from Jimmy, after his "transition from a lethal green-top bowler to a Sub-Continent/flat-deck specialist," & with his "ability to move the ball anywhere at will, (which) makes him lethal and the most skillful in the world" seems unlike the " one player (who) has created more horrors for teams like Australia and India than the entire Rocky horror show combined!" What a disappointment for all those "England fans (who) just love watching this awesome bowler do what he does every match without fail." Fail? You mentioned fail? A fail it was.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 27, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    @Michael Linehan, Normally the follow on is 200, but if the first day is lost then that drops to 150.

  • on May 27, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Well done our Kiwi cousins, managed to get both Swan and (hard to remember his name)... Fairy.. no Finn into the ashes team! Not so well with Compton but of course there is no one else they can pick.Randy your right a sad lot of bowlers when the ball dosn't swing, Southee has completely out bowled all the English bowlers and Boult has shown that their batsman can't touch a left arm swing bowler. Cook is an inept captain not enough ccourage to send the Kiwis in again, we know the Aussie would not have blink to take a side to the cleaners.

  • Rowayton on May 27, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    jmcilhinney 23.44. Latham can't keep wicket - Law 2.3 says that a substitute shall not be allowed to act as wicket-keeper. I know it's ignored sometimes, but...

  • on May 27, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    What are people talking about the follow-on for? You have to be 200 or more behind to give the opposing captain the option to send them in again, so NZ were in the clear at 180.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 27, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    Why do people keep mentioning Carberry as a replacement opener, pushing 33, if anything you might see Root promoted to Open with Cook, although I dont think thats an option for 12 months.

    I can see the logic of England batting again, as some players need more time in the middle and they want to bat the Kiwi's out of the game. Add on that Yorkshire really need the revenue and its easy to see why they did it.

    Theres also a few showers around today so bat all morning try and get a 400-450 lead then stick NZ back in with hopefully a stop/start afternoon and morning session tomorrow.

  • Vinod_Fab on May 27, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    It would be blessing in disguise for Compton as he will get some time to be back in groove before the ASHES.. Me for one still firmly believe that he can negate the new ball with sheer elan... Only Carberry comes close as far as replacement is concerned but still it would be lethal for any side to bring a new batsman who hasn't played any international test match.. As far as trott batting is concerned he is pushing the ball so tentatively like he has never done it before.. With KP due for his comeback in ashes i would rather say this ENG side a settled unit and has all capabilities to whitewash AUS.. Root looks a promising player but i feel he still has long way to go and his first aim will defly be the ASHES.. Eagerly waiting for the ASHES and Kevin Pietersen Comeback....!!

  • on May 27, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    When I saw the news last night with Cook electing to bat my immediate thoughts were "We now know all the bowlers can bowl, it's a good idea to give the batsmen some practice before the Ashes".

  • Greatest_Game on May 27, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    @ Mitty2 wrote "Anderson is the best exponent of swing in the world, and has proven his ability/worth on flat decks, whereas broad and Finn traditionally are very poor when the conditions aren't conducive."

    Probably a good idea if you don't take up bookmaking as a career … unless of course you plan to do so in the IPL! That "best exponent of swing in the world" would have cost you a pretty penny.

  • ashlatchem on May 27, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    "Well, without knowing all the scientific background it has been tested many times for accuracy and they say it's in the very high 90% range. Of course, nothing is perfect when there is a predictive element. My personal view, and you don't have to agree, is that it has improved decision making so is a good thing" A response put towards some1 who had questioned the accuracy of Hawk-Eye on cric-info. This is still in the commentary for this game. The ICC have admitted to testing it once and then getting a fellow from Cambridge to test it once who said his predictions where 100% in line with the ICC's. This data has not been released & I don't beleive the ICC's has either would love to be corrected. I think it is insane to put that in the commentary of the game. It gives off the impression it is a much more tested tech than it is and cric-info know this. Anyone interested should find independent research (type hawk-eye in google) as cricinfo have not told the truth in this instance

  • cric_J on May 27, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Regarding the follow-on , I feel it was right to do what Eng did. The lead was 180 , so it was better to bat now than later , even with the forecasts pretty gloomy.

    What Eng should not do now is go into a passive mode. They lead by 286 already. Bat one session or so and get as many as you can. A 400 run lead or more would be enough.Trott has to be quicker and probably Prior should come in after him, although I don't see that happening.

    It should be a comfortable Eng win if weather permits and unless someone in the NZ camp plays one of the gems of his career.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    @whatawicket on (May 26, 2013, 20:12 GMT), it's hardly using T20 as a yardstick to expect a top-order batsman to score at a strike rate greater than 16. Even if Trott had scored at his career clip he would have put on an extra 21 runs. Is it really too much to ask a batsman of Trott's standing to score at his career strike rate against an under-strength attack when there's the possibility of a day's play being lost?

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (May 26, 2013, 19:30 GMT), I think that you're missing the point. There's every chance that there is only one day left in this game, with Tuesday a possible washout. England apparently have a policy of disregarding weather reports, which I think is foolhardy. Batting again, especially so slowly, significantly reduces England's chances of winning if it does rain while enforcing the follow-on would not significantly increased their chances of losing regardless of the weather. England may well still win this game but that will not vindicate their actions in my mind because they have taken a course that is less likely, considering all factors, to lead to a win.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    It seems a bit ridiculous for fans here to be justifying England batting again by saying that our batsman need the time in the middle before the Ashes. The England team and management have been saying that they aren't looking ahead to the Ashes and are concentrating on this series. While that's not completely possible, simply as a result of human nature, if they turned this game into an Ashes practice session then it would make their previous comments farcical.

  • bobbo2 on May 27, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Very disappointing NZ. The top 3 saw off 143 balls so no excuse for the middle order to have performed so badly this time around on a pretty docile pitch.

    Ryder we need you!

  • landl47 on May 27, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    Personally I would have batted again. With a 4-man attack, you need to manage their workloads and besides, winning the toss gave England the advantage of batting first and third and forcing NZ to bat last- why give up that advantage?

    The bowling looked very good. Finn still hasn't got it quite right, but he's getting there. His action looked smoother today, especially when he ran up to the middle of the return crease. That was where his faster balls all came and his natural jag in brings him close enough to the stumps anyway. Swann showed again that on a pitch with some help he's a very dangerous bowler. Broad bowled pretty well and Anderson was probably the weakest link today, which is a good sign!

    Poor Compton is totally out of touch- he can stay in, but can't hit the ball off the square. Hopefully his timing will return; at the moment he makes Cowan look like Sobers. Cook batted well, though.

    NZ have looked outclassed and with Boult out they are hoping for a rainy couple of days.

  • Pyketts on May 27, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Quite simple, Compton out as he doesn't have the class to play test match cricket, he's just a good county cricketer who has scored a lot of runs on a flat track. When will they realise it's not Nick not Dennis that is playing.

    Root to open (on the basis he's as good as every Yorkshireman keeps suggesting and his recent performances) and bring back KP for a bit of aggression.

    Bit tricker, Cook out as captain. Very negative with little imagination. A product of the ECB wish to have cricketers who play by the manual and will say/do what the ECB masters say. I'd rather have Bell or Swan as captain.

    Not suggesting they do it before an Ashes series but he should go before the winter tour (only as captain, his place as a player is currently unquestionable).

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    I have no issue with England not enforcing the follow-on, assuming that the weather holds. If it's England's policy to ignore weather forecasts then their decision to bat again was completely justified. I think that it's a bit silly to ignore the forecast though. I understand that forecasts are not 100% reliable but it's not like they'd risk losing the game if the did heed it. Having made the decision to bat again though, the way that Trott batted is completely illogical. Compton's innings was poor but there were obviously mitigating factors. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was feeling the pressure, although that's not exactly encouragement to retain him. Trott, on the other hand, simply has no justification for looking disinterested in scoring.

  • on May 27, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    That move by Cook to persist with the usual batting order was very strange. If you want a man to force the pace and put some pressure on the opposing side then Trott would be the last man you would pick for the job. It was a tailor-made opportunity for Root or Bairstow to come in and smack it around instead of Trott resorting to scratching around for singles. Root looks pretty good so far and has made the most of not nicking it just a touch more and being given out on 17.

  • on May 26, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Yeah, no reason not to bat again, really. The series is more or less wrapped up, batting again gave the batsmen more time in the middle, gave Cook the chance to add to his century tally. Not his fault Compton and Trott couldn't get runs, either - I think people are being too hard on Compton, but yeah neither of them kept pace with Cook! Hopefully it doesn't rain on Day 5 and Swanny will get a chance to take all 10! :P

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    @RandyUK on (May 26, 2013, 18:02 GMT) , who are they blaming this time: the coach or the selectors?

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    As Latham is on the field for Boult anyway, if McCullum really is having issues with his back, as appears to be the case, it might be prudent for Latham to take the gloves for the rest of England's second innings. NZ might need a long innings from McCullum to save this game so it would not be prudent to risk his health, especially with the Champions Trophy coming up too.

  • geoffw on May 26, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    what is it with a "two test series" ? I love my cricket, and see a couple of tests as a totally unsatisfactory "series". When was the last time any side other that Eng/Aus played more than 4 tests ?

  • DingDong420 on May 26, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Were Compton & Trott too stupid to understand the requirements of the innings this time around.

    Maybe they both were trying to impersonate Yorkshires finest batting snail

  • jrw39 on May 26, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Another brilliant day's cricket for England. I find it hard to understand the criticism of Cook's decision, given that there were plenty of arguments for not enforcing the follow-on. In my view the main argument is keeping the bowlers fresh for the Ashes - why risk running them into the ground if NZ manage to put together some good partnerships the second time around? And yes, it would have been nice if England had scored more quickly but might it not be the case that Compton and Trott were just finding it difficult out there? Quality bowling though and a massive boost to see Finn and Swann bowling well.

  • yorkshirematt on May 26, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    @Andy Plowright It is a divisive issue and there'll be plusses and minuses to both judgements. But if Mr Vaughan the lanky agrees with the decision then that makes me even more inclined to disagree! If we were guaranteed two more days I'd be fine with it, but with weather around on Tuesday why not take the attacking option? Even though England will win the series, 2-0 sounds much better than 1-0. Also I'm fed up of watching draws or defeats for England up here!

  • A_Yorkshire_Lad on May 26, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    @5wombats (19.15) "...a good time to be a Yorkshireman " ? What are you talking about , to be a Yorkshireman at ANY time is a wondrous thing !! To be owt else would be nobbut middlin' :) But , yes , good to see the captain batting well and even better to see randyoz's comments , always good for a laugh , eh ? Cheers !

  • The_bowlers_Holding on May 26, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    It looks to me as if England wanted to give the batsmen more time in the middle, an England win is nailed on. Good to see Finny bowling well and back amongst the wickets and obviously Swann reminding everyone of his worth. Personally I hope the game goes on well into Tuesday as I am currently in the Virgin Islands and and fly back to DC on Monday (only watched the highlights so far due to pressing needs of beach). a 2-0 win will prove nothing as it is only at home and not in the sub-continent which are the only matches that test the batsmen/bowler/fielders.

  • jexley on May 26, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    The case for not enforcing the follow on may well be valid but this is no excuse for the feeble effort of Trott.Surely the spectators are entitled to more respect than that displayed by Trott.

  • dalboy12 on May 26, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    Very disappointed to wake up here in NZ and see our batsman had let us down again. @cardassian - who are these young guys in NZ not getting a look in? The fact is we don't have a lot talent in cricket back in NZ - especially among the batsman. @jackthelad - Sorry we can't bat, i accept that, but I will not accept that this NZ bowling attack is "second rate". Boult has been great this summer. They were one non-appeal and one short partnership at the end of the day between Swann and Prior from getting rid England pretty cheap again. It must be hard for these guys to never have a total to bowl at, and have to go out again and again after our batsman have failed. Good on England, for not following on, if the test ends a draw it means nothing and the way we are batting - really I can't see us surviving for any length of time. The batsman confidence must be completely shot.

  • wgtnpom on May 26, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    It's difficult to expect people to believe that the bowlers are tired when they've bowled less than 44 overs between them. I know that's a lot to people who play T20 all the time but not at Test level. I would probably have forced the follow-on but (weather permitting) England still have loads of time. Plus Cook has scored runs at last. Unfortunately Compton might have played himself out of the side. The other factor is the NZ bowlers obligingly having another go at roughing it up for Swann in the last innings. A positive attitude today, including from Trott, and a declaration in the afternoon session with a lead of 400+. Then Anderson and Broad to swing it and Swann to mop up at the other end. Sorted, bring on the Aussies.

  • universalanalyser on May 26, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Before the series started England was willin to win the series not 2-0.so as long as they winning the series it doesnt matter how. besides it is not 500plus run follow on where u hav still 250 odd to follow,jus 180 so most chances favour england wud bat again so better bat early without pressure,so very professional decision by England. Also Cook was needin some desperate batting practice for ashes and he get one today..still i beliv 2-0.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 26, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    A main talking point from that day is obviously the follow on.Beefy ran a few stats by on the television and showed the although the Kolkatha victory to England had changed the general attitude to following on in cricket, the chances of a side following on and winning a Test had in spite of that occasion hardly raised the odds at all as 3 sides only had won from that position by 2013. On this occasion who would not have enforced? Well, Cook. The comm. box would have. I can only think Cook wanted his batsmen to find some touch and duly obliged with a lovely innings some panache. But both Compton and Trott dug themselves large graves with their tortured witless displays. Otherwise they said the bowlers were tired. Why? How? If weather interrupts the mastch and curtails it the decision will have been stupid. Cook has to get 104 more runs, declare and do the deed in 2 sessions. Leave Tuesday to the weather ,please, Al.

  • Shan156 on May 26, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    @JG2704, I don't mind us batting again. While our bowlers were in the field only for a short time and would most likely not be as tired as Swann claims, we should probably give our batsmen a little more time. I know, we should play to win but look at our batsmen - Cook is fine, so is Root, question mark over Bairstow, Nick is out of nick in this series but did score 2 tons in the last series. But, the biggest problems are Trott who scored just 2 tons in 12 tests last year, and Bell who scored just 1. We saw how Bell struggled in the first dig. This is the last chance before the Ashes for our batsmen to get into some kind of form. This could also explain the slow going of Nick and Trott. I know we should not be using this match as a practice but considering that the NZ batsmen have no intention of occupying the crease for long, there may still be enough time to force a win. I am still worried about our batting considering that the Aussie attack is better than NZs.

  • kieranbob on May 26, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    England can't afford to carry Compton in the Ashes, underestimate the Aussies at your peril. Sorry but he can't play at this level and is clearly out of his depth.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST on (May 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT) I'm not going to be as blunt as Trickstar but what he says is true. Maybe Nick has gone off the boil but if they're going to replace him then either Chopra or Robson (not sure if he's qualified) are the only 2 realistic options. Otherwise it would be a case of shifting the order around and have someone from within the side opening. While I'm not 100% convinced re Jonny , Eng would still be playing for a draw if it were not for him,Root and Matt - although with our tactics you wonder if we still might be playing for a draw. BTW Nick did average 99 last season in div 1 and did score 2 tons in NZ

  • CricketingStargazer on May 26, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    There were two reasons for not enforcing the follow-on. First, New Zealand have two left-arm seamers who are nicely roughing-up the pitch for Graeme Swann; he got turn out of the footmarks today, the aim to to get even more when New Zealand bat again. Second, how often do you see a four-man attack bowl a side out cheaply, enforce the follow-on and then watch the same batsmen build a large total against bowlers who have just lost their edge a little?

    New Zealand are tired. They are already almost out of the match. Why give their batsmen a chance to make amends against tiring bowlers? Keep them in the field a while longer, worrying about the declaration.

  • on May 26, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    AGAIN NZ SHOW WHY THEY R AT NO.8. no big deal , even india whitewashed them 2-0 in india last year. compton shows he wud be next ravi bopara. trott played for time as if he is playing in india to avoid defeat as in 4th test in nagpur. cook played first 50 plus innings in 7 attempts against rampant nz bowlers. hope we see better batting from nz in 2nd innings and they draw series 1-1. good luck nz.

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother on (May 26, 2013, 19:33 GMT)/ yorkshirematt on (May 26, 2013, 19:27 GMT) Totally. Disagree with batting again anyway but Either Nick or Trott should have been under orders to start like they were playing one day cricket or they should have moved guys like Root,Jonny or even Matt up the order

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin on (May 26, 2013, 19:10 GMT) You're spot on. Trott is a very selfish batsman which can be a good thing but in this situation it's awful. I disagree 100% with the decision anyway but if you're going to bat again you either need the batsmen to up the ante or change the order around and push guys like Root,Jonny etc up the order. If Nick/JT scored at Cook's SR (which is good but not exactly Sehwag territory) we'd be 57 runs further ahead. Yes , and it seems that - despite what has been said - the actions are of a side that wants to remain number 2 than close the gap on SA which is a tough enough ask even with more ambition. Our country has gone health and safety mad in recent years - maybe our cricketers are following suit?

  • on May 26, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @Yorkshirematt. When one of Yorkshire's finest, Michael Vaughan, says he would have batted on, then I'm inclined to trust the judgement of both Cook and Vaughan above your own. England can't lose the series. It is likely we shall roll NZ out again when we bowl and win. It was absolutely the right call to give the top order a chance to get some more time in the crease under their belt.

  • 110no on May 26, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    Swann: "The bowlers weren't too happy to go back out bowling and you can't blame them." Unbelievable! England's four bowlers had bowled 7, 9 12 & 15 overs respectively. How can they be tired? Weekend bowlers would expect more than that from a Sunday afternoon's amateur game in the park or they'd be well p*ssed. I always played my cricket to win first, then go for a draw if a win was not attainable. Not enforcing the follow-on is a poor, weak decision, whatever result ensues, especially as the weather looks dicey. When you're on top, rub it in. Be ruthless. The Aussies will be.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 26, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    Most of this day should have left NZ feeling red-faced and questioning themselves. Trent Boult had ripped out the England batting with the second new ball and continued today,including a brilliant return catch. Then Fulton and Rutherford gave them a fine start,before Finn snuffed them out and Taylor to boot. Swann bowled a magical spell sending commentators scurrying for record books. They say you do not need a spinner at Headingley; unless he's a magicioan,which today Swann was. the end loomed near till Wagner and Boult provided the best batting for NZ and England had a180 run lead. Without Boult NZ lacked an essential punch back but while Cook found great touch,Compton then Trott tried to give the Kiwis some hope by totally forgetting their purpose. No-one has a right to a place in this side and that sort of batting should be punished with dropping. Cook's 88 can be measured alongside 18 from the other 2. Pathetic and distasteful. People pay money for entertainment.

  • whatawicket on May 26, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    i think some of you are using the T20 as a yardstick for test cricket, some of the postings should remember it is a test match. the captain was batting while all this was happening. if he was that worried then it did not show, if he wanted the scoring rate upped then he could have put prior in 1st wicket down but as far as i could see he was not padded. tomorrow is another day and either declare or bat out by mid afternoon with 450 lead. it is a test match dont take NZ lightly thinking we can take liberties with them they beat Australia the last time they played, which in itself does not count for that much but just let it go its natural way. an by the way the Yorkies need all the revenue they can get keep those pints been pulled

  • cardassian on May 26, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    After a summer where NZ fans were all too keen to paper over the cracks we saw exposed in South Africa we are seeing another winter season where they are being laid bare once again. When will we realise that players with test batting averages of 35 aren't world beaters but world chumps. Such a shame that those young players back home with better averages than those senior players don't get a look in.

  • 5wombats on May 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    @JG2704 I personally do not feel that the "number 1" thing is the be all and end all. I think I said so here on cricinfo back when we beat the indians to take the mace. Sure - it's nice to be doing so well - beating India in India, beating Australia in Australia, etc, but what is it that is really important here? Kudos? Records? "number 1"? None of these I think.... Here's what I think; It's important that our sons and daughters come to play and love the game - playing it and loving it for it's own sake because it is The Greatest Game. Now that my son is playing (RHB, safe hands and a good arm in the field) I can see it clearer than ever before why my dad took me to Test matches and why HIS dad took him to Test matches. If England are entertaining and inspiring the next generation - then that's good enough for me. Just at the moment my boy is loving watching England and playing the game. Whether England are 1,2 or whatever is unimportant. He will go on playing long after I am gone.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    @Trickstar: By far the best comment ever made in the history of cricinfo. Absolutely Golden. :)

  • jackthelad on May 26, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    May I add, about Carberry, that he had a life-threatening condition a couple of years ago, but has worked his way back to fitness (perhaps explains why he 'hasn't done much in the last couple of years', do you think?).

  • on May 26, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    No idea why Trott was scoring so slowly, as if England were 200 runs behind and he was playingfor time. Really looking forward to Swann getting at the Aussie left-handers after this performance, though.

  • GeoffreysMother on May 26, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Compton's batting was understandable, Trott's, as an established batman whose place is not under threat, unforgivable (especially when considering the admirable Boult was not bowling): the highlights were him scratching the crease and adjusting his pads. It took the gloss off an excellent bowling display.

  • jackthelad on May 26, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Ah, well; Compton is under pressure, and has shown he can't deal with it. Unfortunately there is no obvious alternative unless you pull Root out of a position he only yesterday made his own, or draft in Carberry, who is an unknown quantity, and hardly a bet for the future. The real problem has been Cook, Trott and Bell's poor shows (until today, with Cook); this is where England's dilemma lies - with their three established batsmen scratching around against what is at best a second-rate attack (Southee excepted). If these three can put it together, they are a match for any bowling attack in the world. So what's happening? I've no answer to that, but I think that is the question, rather than speculation surrounding the newer team members.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 26, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    I think people are missing the point. With two days left of a 4 day game England are 300 ahead and the only question is when the declaration will be made. It's hardly as if they have thrown away a winning position. In fact, to quote @RandyOz on Friday, he thought rain had saved England from likely defeat.

    Most people, including Randy, expected a draw. However, reality is that New Zealand will, most likely, by lunch tomorrow be looking at having to double their best innings total in this series. Any bets that they will do it?

  • yorkshirematt on May 26, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Was there again today. Great up until tea and we were anticipating seeing England win by lunch tomorrow if not be close today. But how wrong we were by the negative decision to bat again, and then the most uneventful, or boring to put it bluntly, period of play you could wish to see. This would have been a great first day with a full four still to play. Sadly it looks as though one will only be possible but England will only have themselves to blame if the weather prevents a win. Shame for Root who batted so positively yesterday and the bowlers who got England into a position to win the game today, looks unlikely now with certain batsmen only interested in boosting their figures before the Ashes

  • 5wombats on May 26, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    @Trickstar (May 26, 2013, 18:39 GMT) - mate I think you got him! Nice to see you playing yourself back into form for the Ashes. And with young Joe doing the business it's a good time to be a Yorkshireman, eh lad? :-). But seriously - is there anyone else out there who would like to wring Trott's neck? If England are going to be be daft enough to not enforce the follow-on - then at least get on with it with the bat. On the other hand it was nice to see Cookie silence his (Indian and Australian) critics with a fluent knock today - another guy who is coming into form just at the right time....

  • Harlequin. on May 26, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @Simon Boyes, because the first day was a wash out, the follow-on target becomes 150 under the first innings score.

    And i'd agree wholeheartedly with the comments here, i can understand not following on but to then have 2 of your batsmen play at S/R's under 20 is pure cowardice. It's no secret how selfish a batsman Trott is, and granted that selfishness has probably to a lot of his success. You can also understand Compton playing more tentatively than he usually does, but it was still pretty frustrating and showed and epitomises the lack of ambition that seemed to disappear abruptly as soon as the reached #1 (which feels a very long time ago now!)

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    CTD - Vaughan was saying re the follow on that Eng had the series won so why risk anything?

    Sorry but is this the attitude of a team which has any hope of catching SA that a 1-0 win vs NZ (at home) is great? No disrespect meant to NZ but our ambitions should surely be greater than that if our return to number 1 aspirations are to be believed. The number 1 mantle was supposed to be all important to us and a return is a hugely tough ask as it is and whatever talent we have , we definitely won't return there if we let these opportunities slip by. England should still win from here but if NZ/the weather means that the game ends up a draw then it will serve us right. Vaughan said that it minimises our chances of losing. Maybe but then it also increases the chances of a draw. If Cook has that little faith in his troops that he feels they might realistically lose from the position they were in after 1st inns then it doesn't show confidence as a captain or with the team

  • whatawicket on May 26, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    finn at just under the 90 mph on the slowest of slow wickets proves he hes up there with the best when it comes to speed and at 6ft 7" one of the tallest to get bounce. also lets hope the aussies are thinking of playing a left handed bowler swann will be licking his lips

  • JG2704 on May 26, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    A great result for our bowlers but what horrible/negative ractics by England in not making NZ follow on and then 2 of our top 3 batsmen play at a pace where they're trying to drag the game out rather than push it forward. I listened to the game on the radio and was surprised/disappointed that Vaughan (who was a very positive captain) applauded the decision. Then he was later criticising Trott's lack of urgency. I mean what do you expect? Why did they not move Root,Jonny and even Matt up the order if they wanted to push the game forward? I was hoping that Cook would be his own man and come up with his own positive ideas but to me - despite the result in India - he is/is becoming a safety first clone of Strauss. I have seen 2 matches in the last 3 months where the captain has the opposition strangled and has given the opposition the best chance of escape and they've (Eng/NZ)/ Somerset/Warwicks taken it on each occasion. Somerset's form since has been woeful - coincidence?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 26, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    It's a shame Anderson hardly got the chance to bowl, but there again when everyone else around you is taking wickets, there's none left to add to your own bag! Awesome all round bowling by England in general, hilarious to see some of their automated-critics left speechless today!

  • Trickstar on May 26, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST Carberry hasn't got picked because he hasn't been performing the past couple of years, simple as that. Averaged 30 last year & 35 this season so far. He also didn't get one game and was thrown out, he went as a fill in for Strauss at he time ho missed the Bang tour and when he came back he went out. If you'd rather see Carberry you can't have taken no notice of his batting the past couple of years in first class cricket. At least Compton got in on the strength of a couple of very good years in Division 1, Carberry isn't even doing poor in Div 1, he's facing average bowlers in Div 2.

  • RWood on May 26, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    What a load of criticism and whinging about the side that's on top! NZ will be almost certainly disposed of in exactly the fashion I expected prior to the series starting. RandyOZ" comments can safely dismissed as those of a one-eyed supporter who doesn't acknowledge his own team's weaknesses.

  • Trickstar on May 26, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    @ RandyOZ Seriously is this the best you've got, after all this time, cringe a minute. The ball didn't swing much in the last Ashes & he made mugs of you're lot. The ball hasn't swung in the last 3 sub continent tours and he averages 26 down there. Come on man, if you're going to make statements back them up. You also must have missed Steyn and co crying to the umpires last year at Headingley for the ball to be changed on about 5 occasions when KP was smashing them around the ground. It's amazing you don't remember you're lot against SA, where they constantly cried about the ball. They were nearly in tears in that 3rd test when Amla and AB where batting. As for Pattinson, is there anyone in world cricket with a more padded record than his. Seriously he's taken nearly all his wickets against the might of India and NZ, lol 20 of his 40 wickets against India and 14 against NZ. I remember Bresnan having a similar average after 12 tests after playing poor sides like India & Aus.

  • Narkovian on May 26, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Am I missing something here ? Compton played like he was trying to save the match !... strike rate approx 15. Whiilst Cook played flowing strokes. Then when Compton was out ( what a relief for all !), Trott came in and did the same. Another strike rate of 15. Even Cook slowed to a crawl for the last hour. At least I understand why Compton was so slow.. he has become strokeless due to worrying about his place. But why Trott ? 250 ahead. yikes its enough to make you want to turn over and watch IPL ! ( just joking!) If NZ had followed on they would be about 100/5 or worse, by now. Timid captaincy IMHO.

    .

  • on May 26, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Quite honestly am losing interest in test cricket when captain is afraid to force the follow on for fear of batting last on a wicket that turn with know main spinner. then having top class batsmen batting with a strike rate of under 20. in t20 cricket singles comes so easy but in test cricket it's a lost art.

  • on May 26, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @Wallruss. Yes. Someone besides Compton should play the third test and audition to open the batting in the Ashes.

  • trav29 on May 26, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @randy

    want to remind us what the result was the last time Australia played a test against NZ , then come back and talk about embarrassing

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    A good day for England all up but, quite frankly, that last hour or two was rather shameful. Having had the opportunity to enforce the follow-on and declined, the scene was set for England to really impose their will on the game and grid an already demoralised NZ into dust. Alas, it was not to be. Admittedly, Cook was never likely to maintain his early strike rate, which was helped by NZ bowling a lot of rubbish to him for a while, but 67 at the end of the day is not too bad. Compton and Trott didn't look interested in scoring though. Compton I can understand, as he was almost certainly feeling pressure to keep his place in the team. Trott though, has no excuse. He has potentially cost his team this Test match. If the weather holds then England should still win but that is by no means guaranteed. If a major part of day 5 is lost to rain then a draw is quite likely. Either they should have made NZ follow on or they should have attacked. It's that simple. Poor tactics.

  • on May 26, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    When Pietersen is back - it's Compton out to make room for him with either Bell (who used to open regularly for Warwickshire) or Root (who has opened just about his whole career for Yorkshire) to mave up. Feel sorry for Compton - it's only 3 test matches ago that he made back to back centuries. He reminds me of Graeme Hick or Mark Ramprakash in the 90's. Clealy a decent player - but totally crippled by fear of failure, and as a consequence and ironically - doomed to fail almost every time.

  • RandyOZ on May 26, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    It is embarrassing to watch Anderson and Broad when the ball isn't swinging. They blame everyone but their own poor bowling. It is no surprise that their averages are over 30, and not even in the same stratosphere as Steyn or McGrath. Pattinson makes them look like amateurs!

  • trav29 on May 26, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    England score 72 runs from first 18 overs then 37 from the next 22 , given the match situation this complete lack of intent makes no sense whatsoever at a time we should be looking to put the opposition under pressure we are allowing them to dictate play

    this lack of intent will be unforgiveable if we fail to win this game should time be lost on Tuesday to weather

  • RandyOZ on May 26, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Great to see Swann picking up wickets. Hopefully him and Broad, who both average over 40 against the Aussies, will play in the Ashes!

  • Wallruss on May 26, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    If Compton had been trying to get himself dropped for the Ashes he couldn't have played a better innings

  • BRUTALANALYST on May 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Why is Nick Compton still in this England side Carberry got 1 game and thrown out, he's a much better option, Compton is a liability and should not be in the Ashes. I'd rather see Carberry in for Comton and KP in for Bairstow that's Englands best 11 and a far more fearful prospect for the opposition on both counts.

  • on May 26, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    thought follow on was 200 behind in tests ?

  • on May 26, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    If England declare earlier, we can get a result before tea on fifth day. Go England Go

  • on May 26, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    England proved themselves why they are the best test team in the world ! The best bowling attack and batting :D

  • cloudmess on May 26, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Where's our resident deluded Aussie RandyOz?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 26, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Cook playing a T20 innings with every shot in the book. Reminds me of the last Ashes when he scored his Seven-Hundred and Sixty-Seventh run..

  • on May 26, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I'm not sure that "the best figures since John Emburey..." is anything to be too proud of. :-)

  • 22many on May 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    smash42...answer is no....question now is...will cook bat to long like mc cullum did in Auckalnd

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 26, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Swann : 4 - 42 on the seamers paradise arena of world cricket that is Headingly..... He is in "terrible form these days" isn't he? ....

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    It's been said many times that Swann is no doubt looking forward to bowling to Australia's many left-handers, the way he used the rough today, he must be hoping that Starc and/or Johnson play and he can have as much fun bowling to the right-handlers.

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    A few slices of luck but some enterprising play from the NZ final pair. England again looked tactically shaky with several edges going to the boundary and I just can't understand that decision not to enforce the follow by Cook and, presumably, Flower as well. If the weather holds then England should win regardless but that's far from guaranteed. I would think that they'd want to bat briskly for two sessions and set a target of about 400. NZ could theoretically knock that off so they'd have to go for it, which should lead to some wickets. If England bat longer then they risk not leaving enough time to take ten wickets if it does rain on Tuesday but, while it's unlikely, NZ could steal a win if it stays fine. 400 should be enough though, with likely overcast skies and even more rough for Swann on the last day.

  • on May 26, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    I think NZ is not suitable for test at this moment !! They really should give their players rest and play after 3-4 months ! Players must be tired or they just do not have the required skills to play Test cricket ! 68 and now 174 !! ....

  • weasel_zapper on May 26, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Oh dear, routed by swing at Lords, now pace and spin are doing the job. Hope we can at least somehow make the follow on.

  • MartinC on May 26, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Pleasing to see Finn bowl a good spell and take those top two wickets. If he gets back in the groove this England attack becomes even more dangerous leading into the Ashes.

  • Mitty2 on May 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Saw a comment that said (based on county results) that any score under 400 would be Sub-par... Based on what I saw, the pitch looked really good for batting but it was swinging all throughout. Once again, very good bowling from the NZ attack. Anderson is the best exponent of swing in the world, and has proven his ability/worth on flat decks, whereas broad and Finn traditionally are very poor when the conditions aren't conducive.

    If NZ can negate Anderson, I'd expect a good result from them. But, most intriguing thing is... Can broad continue on his recently found form? Can he bridge the gap between his best and worst? If he gets a haul again, England will be looking very very likely for the ashes, with their only obvious weakness being their back up quicks. Id still have onions in though.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 26, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    To be honest, I'd rather this abrupt ending came to England's innings than they push and prod about for more precious overs. I said yesterday Prior and Swann should just come out swinging, and if they get more bonus runs just declare and get on with the bowling.

  • Smash42 on May 26, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    First question is whether NZ can pass the follow on.

  • Smash42 on May 26, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    First question is whether NZ can pass the follow on.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on May 26, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    To be honest, I'd rather this abrupt ending came to England's innings than they push and prod about for more precious overs. I said yesterday Prior and Swann should just come out swinging, and if they get more bonus runs just declare and get on with the bowling.

  • Mitty2 on May 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Saw a comment that said (based on county results) that any score under 400 would be Sub-par... Based on what I saw, the pitch looked really good for batting but it was swinging all throughout. Once again, very good bowling from the NZ attack. Anderson is the best exponent of swing in the world, and has proven his ability/worth on flat decks, whereas broad and Finn traditionally are very poor when the conditions aren't conducive.

    If NZ can negate Anderson, I'd expect a good result from them. But, most intriguing thing is... Can broad continue on his recently found form? Can he bridge the gap between his best and worst? If he gets a haul again, England will be looking very very likely for the ashes, with their only obvious weakness being their back up quicks. Id still have onions in though.

  • MartinC on May 26, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Pleasing to see Finn bowl a good spell and take those top two wickets. If he gets back in the groove this England attack becomes even more dangerous leading into the Ashes.

  • weasel_zapper on May 26, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Oh dear, routed by swing at Lords, now pace and spin are doing the job. Hope we can at least somehow make the follow on.

  • on May 26, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    I think NZ is not suitable for test at this moment !! They really should give their players rest and play after 3-4 months ! Players must be tired or they just do not have the required skills to play Test cricket ! 68 and now 174 !! ....

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    A few slices of luck but some enterprising play from the NZ final pair. England again looked tactically shaky with several edges going to the boundary and I just can't understand that decision not to enforce the follow by Cook and, presumably, Flower as well. If the weather holds then England should win regardless but that's far from guaranteed. I would think that they'd want to bat briskly for two sessions and set a target of about 400. NZ could theoretically knock that off so they'd have to go for it, which should lead to some wickets. If England bat longer then they risk not leaving enough time to take ten wickets if it does rain on Tuesday but, while it's unlikely, NZ could steal a win if it stays fine. 400 should be enough though, with likely overcast skies and even more rough for Swann on the last day.

  • jmcilhinney on May 26, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    It's been said many times that Swann is no doubt looking forward to bowling to Australia's many left-handers, the way he used the rough today, he must be hoping that Starc and/or Johnson play and he can have as much fun bowling to the right-handlers.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 26, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Swann : 4 - 42 on the seamers paradise arena of world cricket that is Headingly..... He is in "terrible form these days" isn't he? ....

  • 22many on May 26, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    smash42...answer is no....question now is...will cook bat to long like mc cullum did in Auckalnd