NZ concerns over Anderson and Watling
New Zealand have fitness worries over two key middle-order players ahead of the second Test at Headingley with allrounder Corey Anderson and wicketkeeper BJ Watling both struggling with injuries sustained at Lord's.
Watling is only rated as 50-50 to be ready for Friday after picking up a knee injury on the opening day of the first Test which prevented him from keeping for the rest of the match although he did manage gutsy innings of 61 not out and 59. Anderson, meanwhile, suffered a back injury which meant he only bowled three overs in the second innings although he, too, batted well for 67 as New Zealand tried to save the match.
"BJ's not 100%, clearly his knee is still an issue," coach Mike Hesson said. "He struggles to push off and get a lot of power so he's a 50-50 at this stage. From Corey's perspective bowling was painful and so was fielding so we'll need to monitor that."
New Zealand have plenty of wicketkeeping cover should Watling not recover, in what would be a situation of history repeating itself after he was ruled out of the corresponding Test two years ago after being injured at Lord's. Tom Latham took the gloves after lunch on the opening day, and collected six catches across the two innings, while Luke Ronchi, who is uncapped at Test level, is part of the squad.
Anderson, though, is important to the balance of New Zealand's side and Hesson acknowledged that his injury had left the frontline bowlers with an excessive workload which had played a part in England's fightback on the fourth day, which is when Hesson sensed the match was moving away from the visitors.
"It was really the fourth day that turned it around, we felt we bowled well enough to get three or four wickets in the morning but Alastair Cook and the way Ben Stokes and Joe Root played took the game away from us. That was the turning point. As a bowling unit we were a bowler light so that put a lot of pressure on other guys so they are stiff and sore and we need to make sure come Friday they are fresh."
In a free-flowing Test, the highest scoring one ever at Lord's, the run-rates were high for most of the match. Hesson offered his support to offspinner Mark Craig, who finished with match figures of 2 for 173, and Tim Southee who conceded 266 runs in the match - the most ever by a New Zealand bowler in a Test.
"Mark didn't have his best Test, that's fair, but he's played nine Tests and won us three so he's a very important member of our squad and he'll be better off after this," he said. "I also felt he got better as the game went on. Tim bowled some great spells and I think he suffered as we were a bowler light and had to bowl a heck of a lot more overs."
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo