New Zealand in England 2015 June 3, 2015

Watling's grit and Boult's guile

It is now seven series undefeated for New Zealand and every one of the players used in the two Tests contributed at some point over the pair of wonderfully entertaining matches

Trent Boult was the outstanding pace bowler on either side and completely worked over Gary Ballance © Getty Images

Full series averages

9

BJ Watling
Proved he is worthy of a place as a batsman alone with a match-defining hundred in the second innings at Headingley to follow two gutsy half-centuries at Lord's. He has a full range of strokes, clearly benefiting from the time he spent at the top of the order in his early days. Did not see much of his keeping after the blow to the knee, but will remain New Zealand's first-choice gloveman in the red-ball format.

Trent Boult
The most consistent pace bowler on either side, and finished as the equal-highest wicket-taker. Earned a place on the Lord's honours board and could easily have collected more than four wickets at Headingley. Completely dissected the technique of Gary Ballance who he dismissed three times in four innings. Could he be the most skilful left-armer England will face this season?

8

Kane Williamson
Scored an outstanding hundred at Lord's, which in many other circumstances would not have come in defeat, before being undone by a stunning over from Ben Stokes. He followed that with two rather limp dismissals in the second Test, but was far from anonymous at Headingley. On the final day he chipped out three vital wickets with his remodelled offspin, including Alastair Cook.

Brendon McCullum
Two extraordinary displays of Test batting in the first innings of both Tests - not for their longevity, but for the brazenness and audacity. The end of both was ugly, but he did not for a second lose his self belief. Then showed the other side of his game, the one that has brought him Test double and triple hundreds, with a restrained half-century at the crucial junction at Headingley. Captained with imagination, aggression and cheerfulness. Did not allow his players' heads to drop after Lord's. A breath of fresh air.

Luke Ronchi
A wonderful Test debut and one he savoured for every second. "It might be on the only Test I play," he said. There is more than a grain of truth to that with New Zealand's next Tests not until November against Australia. His 88 off 70 balls in the first innings grabbed the game away from England and followed that with a cameo in the second. Was solid behind the stumps; the catch to remove Stokes on the final day was especially impressive.

Mark Craig struggled at Lord's but played a superb all-round role in the second Test © Getty Images

7

Tom Latham
Overcome a sticky warm-up period to produce two sturdy innings at Lord's and Headingley, the second being especially valuable after New Zealand had slipped to 2 for 2. A more conventional Test batsman than many in the team, but as he showed in Leeds can quickly punish poor bowling. One of the plethora of wicketkeepers available, he did a fine stand-in job at Lord's after Watling's injury.

6

Martin Guptill
Two 70s and two ducks - sums up very well the lot of an opener in early-season English conditions. Retains the vulnerability around off stump which has hindered his Test career, but the confidence gained from a prolific World Cup has given him a better than even chance of a sustained run. His second innings at Headingley was vital in wrestling back the momentum from England. Brilliant in the field.

Ross Taylor
Threw caution to wind in the second Test, as did most of his team-mates, and batted as fluently as he has for a considerable period of time. Scratched around horribly at Lord's, although to his credit battled to a half-century in a big stand with Williamson.

Matt Henry
It was a tight tussle ahead of the series to support the new-ball pair but Henry justified getting the nod. A whippy action which drew comparisons with Shane Bond and Jason Gillespie among others, he sustained good pace with a testing line. Had to shoulder a hefty workload at Lord's but did not shirk; was worth more than his two wickets at Headingley.

Tim Southee
Produced his best spell with the second new ball in England's first innings at Headingley, a crucial period where New Zealand regained considerable ground. Was much better in the second Test after a profligate display at Lord's where he conceded the most runs (266) ever by a New Zealand bowler in Tests. Still feels as though his batting is wasteful, especially the second innings shot in the first Test. Excellent in the slips.

Mark Craig
Recovered outstandingly from a difficult Test at Lord's with a key all-round contribution in the series-levelling win. Scored useful, quick runs in both innings, kept a lid on England's scoring when they were in a healthy position, exploited a turning pitch in the second innings and plucked sharp catches at second slip.

5

Corey Anderson
Succumbed to a back injury after the first Test which will be a concern to New Zealand who want him to provide balance. Could not bowl to his full capabilities but showed his batting strength with a bristling second-innings display which gave the visitors hope of saving the match. Will continue to jostle with James Neesham for the No. 6 spot.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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