England v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge June 4, 2008

Swing to be king in final Test

Match facts

Thursday June 5 to Monday 9, 2008
Start time 11.00 (10.00GMT)

England will hope Paul Collingwood comes good after a lean spell with the bat, with a tough series against South Africa ahead © Getty Images

Big Picture

England's six-wicket win at Old Trafford has put them 1-0 up in the series, but despite Michael Vaughan's pre-series declaration that on paper England "should win comfortably", there has been little to separate the two teams. New Zealand out-performed England in the first innings, and it was only a mesmerising spell from Monty Panesar - and perhaps New Zealand's own lack of self-belief when the momentum was with them - which turned the match England's way. The visitors have tugged at England's coat-tails all series, however, led by Ross Taylor's exuberant batting. His superb 154 at Old Trafford was followed by another swashbuckling 150, from 154 balls, against Essex, and England have struggled in Nottingham in recent times, too, with India and Sri Lanka both out-swinging their swingers in the past two years. With Tim Southee expected to be recalled, and the South Africans looming on the horizon, England need to end this series more dominantly than they started.

Form guide

England LWWDW
New Zealand WLLDL

Watch out for...

Ryan Sidebottom: On his home ground, which traditionally suits the swing bowlers, Sidebottom ought to be a handful. He already has 10 wickets this series, with 4 for 55 in the first Test at Lord's, and continues to trouble New Zealand's left-handers - in particular Jacob Oram. Even if Trent Bridge doesn't offer as much swing as is expected, his immaculate line and length will offer New Zealand nothing.

Daniel Vettori: The series' leading wicket-taker almost led New Zealand to a win at Old Trafford, and Vettori has attracted praise for his shrewd captaincy, but the six-wicket loss in the second Test will have hurt. At the critical moment of the match, when New Zealand had England eating out of their palms, they fluffed their lines - in spite of Vettori's 5 for 66, bowling with a ball on a string. New Zealand need him more than ever, even if the pitch isn't overly conducive to spin.

Team news

England named an unchanged team for the fifth Test in a row, matching a 123-year-old record. Not since 1884-85 have England shown such consistency in selection, and they resisted the temptation to pick Chris Tremlett. Yet again, however, England's middle order needs to fire: it has now been 11 Tests since they managed a score of 400. And for all Peter Moores' backing of Paul Collingwood, he desperately needs runs this week if he is to play the first Test against South Africa.

England 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Monty Panesar, 11 James Anderson

New Zealand, meanwhile, will make at least one change after James Marshall was left out of their 12-man squad in favour of Peter Fulton, who made a half-century against Northamptonshire. Marshall has struggled at No. 3 in the first two Tests and failed twice in the tour match. Brendon McCullum looks set to keep wicket following the concerns over his back problems, which left New Zealand considering a call-up for Gareth Hopkins. They are also likely to opt for the youthful zing of Southee, who missed out at Old Trafford with a stomach upset. He took 5 for 42 against Northamptonshire, and it's likely Iain O'Brien will be the man to miss out - despite impressing at Old Trafford, bowling into a Manchester gale.

New Zealand 1 Jamie How, 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 Peter Fulton, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (wk), 6 Daniel Flynn, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (capt), Kyle Mills, Tim Southee/Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin

Umpires: Steve Bucknor and Darrell Hair

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Pitch and conditions

Trent Bridge's reputation as a ground for the swingers has been further enhanced with the magnificent new stand on the Bridgford Road side. New stands and buildings can, according to players, create their own mini micro-climate thus making the ball swing, and judging by the scores made at Trent Bridge this season, the theory makes sense. The biggest total has been an under whelming 279 and teams' first-innings scores have averaged a meagre 197. Sidebottom, Kyle Mills and the other match's swingers will be queuing up for first use.

Stats and Trivia

  • England have won 16 of 53 Tests played at Trent Bridge.

  • New Zealand have only won once in eight attempts at Trent Bridge, losing five and drawing two.

  • Michael Vaughan averages 51.66 at this venue, significantly higher than his career tally, with two hundreds against India.

  • New Zealand own the record of the third-highest fourth-innings chase, 440 against England in 1973, at this very venue.

  • New Zealand are all set to try out a new, high-tech form of 'micro-shine' trousers, which have a special patch to help players shine one side of the ball.


    "There was a choice to make, but in international cricket there is never much time to work on things technically. This was an opportunity after two back-to-back Test matches to go away, have a look at it from the outside rather than going straight back into cricket and seeing what I really needed."
    Collingwood believes his decision to rest and have a few indoor sessions was the best

    "In a strange way Manchester has just added to our confidence because we were so close, and we know we are so close, to this England team. We were written off before the tour but if you take a couple of sessions out of that match, we were the dominant team."
    Jacob Oram hopes his side will be inspired, not demoralised, by their recent defeat

    Will Luke is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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