NZ XI v Eng XI, Tour match, Queenstown, 2nd day

Rutherford impresses in NZ XI reply

Andrew McGlashan in Queenstown

February 28, 2013

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand XI 224 for 6 (Rutherford 90, Brownlie 63) trail England XI 426 (Bell 158, Cook 60, Neesham 4-73, Wagner 4-98) by 202 runs
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Hamish Rutherford drives during his confident innings, New Zealand XI v England XI, Tour Match, Queenstown, 2nd day, February 28, 2013
Hamish Rutherford improved his chances of making a Test debut for New Zealand with a confident knock of 90 © Getty Images
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Hamish Rutherford cemented himself a Test debut in Dunedin next week with a composed 90 against the England XI in Queenstown. However, the New Zealand XI stumbled late in the day to close on 224 for 6 in reply to England's 426, with two wickets falling in the last two overs.

This was Rutherford's first first-class innings since the end of January due to his limited-overs call-up for New Zealand, so it was timely to get back into the rhythm of longer-form batting ahead of a pressurised occasion where, barring unforeseen circumstances, he will partner the recalled Peter Fulton.

He took an early blow on the arm from Stuart Broad and a couple of his drives skewed in the air backward of point - England would do well to keep that area well populated during the Tests - but he struck the ball sweetly with good timing to collect 13 fours and a straight lofted six off Graeme Swann. He fell during the final session, bowled by Chris Woakes, when the ball perhaps did not bounce as expected.

Tom Latham, who is also in the Test squad, did not take his chance in what had been billed as a Test trial although Rutherford was always the favoured option. After partnering Rutherford through to lunch in a half-century opening stand - something the full side have not managed in seven Tests - Latham was lbw on the back foot to the first ball after lunch from Swann. The offspinner bowled economically and claimed his second wicket with the last ball of the day when Jimmy Neesham was lbw.

However, the fight for the final England bowling spot was a subdued affair. Graham Onions' chances of filling the third pace-bowling slot diminished as he ended the day with none for 75 off 16 overs. His disappointing warm-up form in India was a major reason why a call-up eluded him, even when injuries struck the attack, and carrying the drinks awaits him again.

At the moment, therefore, a recall for Broad appears the likeliest path England will take after he worked up the most eye-catching pace of the three quicks on show. Broad was dropped after two wicketless Tests in India, although it is unlikely he was ever fully fit on that tour even before being sent home. In Queenstown, after a slightly tentative first spell, he moved through the gears during the afternoon when he had Carl Cachopa caught low at second slip for his first first-class wicket since the final Test against South Africa, at Lord's in August.

On a slow pitch, Broad got the ball to carry through nicely to Matt Prior and New Zealand's solid reply meant he was able to test the resilience of his heel by returning for multiple spells.

A decent stint in the field will do England no harm ahead of the Test series. There is the expectation that New Zealand's batting won't detain them for too long. However, if the surfaces match this one for slowness it will even the contest, although James Anderson and Steven Finn will provide a cutting edge.

Dean Brownlie, another batsman who will line up in Dunedin, continued his good form from South Africa and the Plunket Shield with a compact half-century. He had one uncomfortable moment against Onions, when he was struck by a sharp bouncer, otherwise he was at ease against pace and spin until being lbw to Jonathan Trott in the closing stages of the day.

Brownlie was one of the few batsmen to emerge with some credit from South Africa after a century in Cape Town. He did not face England in the limited-overs matches so this will have been a valuable innings for him. However, whatever knowledge and confidence he gained against the England bowlers will also work in reverse and Andy Flower will have been taking copious notes

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 1, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer: Cool - cheers; no hard feelings. Yeah it will be interesting to see what the selectors try. I think the team looks more-or-less set now regardless of remaining play; it's just the order that may need some debate.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 1, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

At that stage Onions has already shown that he was far from ready and Woakes really needed to do something against the top order on day 2 rather than against the tail on day 3. He'd batted. he'd bowled. Both were sort of OK, but nothing special. I suppose that things may change if Woakes or Onions were to take a 7-for and bowl England to victory tomorrow, but even that it would be debatable. Woakes played in the ODIs without making a huge case. Onions was with the squad all through and hasn't even made a case to play. The selectors must have some idea of their form and readiness by now! Incidentally I asked "why do you say that?" asking for clarification, rather than, as you are suggesting, challenging your right to say it.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 1, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer (post on February 28, 2013, 21:04 GMT): Why can't I say that? Yesterday was the first bowling opportunity for both Woakes and Onions in a long time, whereas Broad has had the luxury of acclimatising in the shorter formats. Yesterday when I wrote my post, the figures for all 3 seamers were pretty even to me. You are quite right - Broad did bowl well with good pace and consistency, but was that enough for you and others to immediately say yes - that's Broad in the team for sure? My point was, which I apologize for not making clear, that if on day 3 either of Woakes or Onions put in a fantastic spell or two with the ball, they deserve a turn in the first test.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 1, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@jmcilhinney The only slight doubt was the possiblity that a strong performance by Woakes could have forced him into the XI at the cost of a batsman (even so, who would they drop to make room for him? Compton looks the most vulnerable, but to drop him and promote Root smacks of panic and, these days, the selectors do not panic). Woakes has failed twice with the bat and, with the ball, has been OK rather than stellar so, no case to promote him. Compton will get at least two Tests and if, going into the 3rd, the series is in danger and Compton is in bad nick, then they might well be ruthless and promote Root to open. As for poor Onions... I expected him to love New Zealand pitches yet he seems to have pushed himself out of contention for the near future.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 1, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

While I've learned not to place too much stock in the results of warmup matches, the insipid start that England have made to their second innings does not instil confidence. Compton, Trott and KP all fail to impress again and there was no Cook to bail them out this time, although his being run out is not so bad as it not something you would expect to be made a habit of. Typically breezy innings by Prior so all looks well there but, from the numbers, an odd innings from Root. Maybe he wants that opening spot and wanted to show that he could be stodgy. Woakes won't play the first Test but this is a chance to impress for the future at least.

Posted by neil99 on (March 1, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

Please no Compton. Far too defensive - set's completely the wrong tone.

Posted by bennybow on (March 1, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

I'm feeling reasonably confident about England going into the first test. However, seeing Broad 1-68, Onions 1-131 and Woakes 1-64 against New Zealand A, I sure hope Jimmy and Finn stay fit.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 28, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

It looks like Corey Anderson really took to Onions in the morning session on day 3. Onions ended up extremely expensive but I'm glad that Cook gave him as many overs as everyone else because, while it would be nice to win, the result of the match doesn't really matter and the only way that Onions can get back into rhythm is to bowl.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 28, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 21:04 GMT), I agree that the first Test XI is pretty much set in stone. There's no way that they're going to leave Trott or KP out even if they fail again in the second innings here. If Compton was to fail again then they could move Root up to open and bring in Bairstow at #6 but then he'd be coming in with no warmup and I doubt that they want to move Root or give up on Compton just yet anyway. As for the bowling, the fact that Anderson and Finn aren't playing says that they're in and Swann would be in even if he hadn't done fairly well here. As for Broad, it sounds like he's bowled exact as England would have wanted on a wicket that was fairly unresponsive after the first morning. While I sympathise with him, there's no way England could pick Onions in their best XI at the moment and Woakes would have had to do something special with at least one, probably both, of bat and ball to displace anyone.

Posted by Patchmaster on (February 28, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

So we picked Broad when he was out of form and Onions was on fire - and now we're going to pick Onions when he's out of form ? I guess Onions doesn't have a Dad on the board ;-)

Posted by JG2704 on (February 28, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

@Damo_s on (February 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT) - Woakes has not played a Test match even yet so how can you properly judge him? I don't know what Freddie's stats were at this stage of his career but I'd be very surprised if they were as good as Woakes for Warwicks with bat or ball for the last few seasons. Freddie had some magical performances but he was a slow starter for England and hardly a Mr Consistent after he became established.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK Why do you say that? I am assuming that no one will argue with Finn, Anderson and Swann. Stuart Broad has been fast and nasty in this match. Where is the big bowling issue? Are you suggesting that Broad's performance has been seriously unconvincing? You want to drop a batsman and play a fifth bowler (who can only be Woakes - but it isn't likely to happen) Similarly, you may not like the batting order, but barring disaster, the top six from this match is likely to be the top six in the 1st Test and in that order. All the batsmen will get another innings tomorrow and I very much doubt that England will declare before the Close to ensure that everyone who needs to bat does bat. They could even bat on for a while on the 4th day, if necessary, confident that they can bowl out he opposition in 75-80 overs.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 28, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

@Shan156 on (February 28, 2013, 17:49 GMT), quite true. I got a bit carried away there.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 28, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

Hmmmmm, so just like the batting, the bowling's a bit of a mixed bag so far for England as well. I didn't see/hear any of the game, but going by the figures and commentary alone, I wouldn't be so gung-ho in picking the team for the first test just yet (as some people on here seem to be).

@Damo_s (post on February 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT): I know the ICC Rankings has rather strange criteria for listing 'all-rounders', but I don't think the likes of Broad should ever have been considered an all-rounder. Any runs off his bat are/were a big bonus, but it's his bowling alone that should be the basis of his selection. Agree with you (and some others) about Onions; it's a shame he hasn't shone much (yet?), but I sincerely hope this 'creaky' performance so far doesn't warp the selectors' minds too much...

Posted by colinham on (February 28, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Saw Onions in the summer take 9 for versus Notts at Trent Bridge and he looked at least 2 classes above everyone else on show - fast, hostile & moving the ball alarmingly. Definitely looked a better bet than Bresnan last summer, but couldn't get in. Hope he can turn it around.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 28, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, "since his excellent century against India in England", just wanted to point out that Broad did not score a century against India in England. He scored couple of 50s and finished with a great average but did not score a ton. But, I agree that his batting has gone backwards since that series.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 28, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Looks like we will, and should, play Broad in the first test. It is all good as long as all the 3 first choice pacemen are fit. With a heavy workload this year, it is important that the backup pacemen get enough chances. I agree with @jmcilhinney.

Posted by Damo_s on (February 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Im not convinced by Woakes bowling either. I dont think he is good enough against world class batsmen. He is miles behind flintoff (of whom they are keen on trying to mould Woakes into). Why are we looking at an all rounder anyway? There are 5th bowling options with the likes of Root (mainly), Trott and KP. Broad can not possibly be considered an all rounder any more. His batting is fairly woeful bar the odd innings. He bowled well so far but then in the limited overs games he was good one day and rubbish the next. If he continues to bowl well then fairly play. However, I still feel Onions is the better bowler and he needs a run in the side to restore his confidence. I dont think this game has taught us anything new so far. Shame

Posted by Cmar on (February 28, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

16 overs for onions all winter. Why was he not out with the Lions in Australia. I feel the England coaches have let this lad down in preperation for this tour.Very hard to come in cold and be expected to perform.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Woakes is never a test bowler, his bowling has gone backwards alarmingly over the past couple of years, whereas his batting has improved. Quite why the ECB selected him for this tour, when he's clearly not in form was a very strange decision

He needs to work on his bowling and get his pace back up before he's anything more than a decent ODI player

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

I do not understand why Woakes does not get a mention in the competition for the third seamers' place. He has played in New Zealand in the first class system over the English winter and done very well both in bowling and batting (at number 6). He has been played in this warm-up match for a reason, and his previous performances and first class average with the ball suggests he could do a very good job at number 8, particularly in the NZ conditions.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 28, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

@jackiethepen on (February 28, 2013, 8:08 GMT), I agree that it's tough on Onions to try to perform in the middle having hardly played all winter. I think that we all know that he's better than this performance. If England do go 2-0 up in this series then it would make very good sense to play Onions in the third game and then give him at least one game in the return series in England. The last thing we want is for an injury to befall one of the first choice bowlers during the Ashes and Onions be creaking like he seems to have been in this game.

I also agree that it's time to promote Swann above Broad in the batting order. Broad's batting has definitely gone backwards since his excellent century against India in England and even then he was still a bit hit and miss. Unlike his bowling, I'm not sure that injuries can excuse the slide in his batting form. Swann's average is just below Broad's and I see them crossing sometime soon.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Onions was, logically enough, struggling too in his very limited opportunities in the UAE last spring. He's been selected mainly, I suspect, on the grounds of loyalty and to have him as a net bowler so that England can follow his progress. On this tour I imagine that he has done a lot of work in the nets: not the same as middle practice, I know, but if he is not being picked it is probably because he isn't showing too well in the nets either. However, there is no doubt that he will have another go in the second innings, maybe also against the tail tomorrow and will undoutedly feel better for the long bowl today.

Posted by Trickstar on (February 28, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney I listened to the NZ inning on radio and both Onions & Woakes were well below par, although Woakes pulled it back in his later spells. Too much stuff on the legs and too wide. Broad and Swann bowled very well and from what the radio boys were saying, Broad was bowling quick, making the batsmen hop around at times, bowled some great bouncers as well.

I completely agree with you. as long is Broad is 100% fit he's got to play.He's one of those bowlers that when he gets a wicket he can run through a side and when not he's very economical. People who haven't seen much of Onions since he was injured will be surprised because he's lost a bit of pace since that bad back injury. I feel sorry for him in a way as well because he's not bowled properly for nearly 5 months and then it was only the performance squad, even Jimmy would struggle with that little bowling under his belt. They were saying 2 of the NZ'ers are unfit. Patel & Anderson and probably aren't going to bat.

Posted by whoster on (February 28, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

Good to see Broad looking like his old self. There's been a lot of question marks over his form during the past year, but he looks fully-fit and pretty sharp. Should get the nod for the opening Test.

Posted by jackiethepen on (February 28, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Not sure how on earth Onions is supposed to be match ready for this game. Broad and Woakes obviously bowled in the one dayers. Onions hasn't bowled all winter. I can remember Anderson once treated like that - carrying the drinks all winter and his bowling went backwards. It took him a year to recover. At least Anderson was as young man. If England want a squad of bowlers then they have to start playing them. I would have liked a report of the end of the England innings. Broad hung around to partner Bell but didn't impress with the bat. While Swann hit a fantastic cameo. He surely should be promoted up the order above Broad. And Bell finished his majestic innings of 158 batting with Onions. He came in at 81-3 and ended on 426-10, sacrificing his wicket trying to add a few more runs, caught on the boundary, when Onions was becalmed. Was McGlashan asleep for the morning session? Does he feel England fans have no interest in how the tail bats? In Test cricket such sessions can be crucial.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

1-35 for Broad. 1-46 for Woakes. 2-36 for Swann. 0-75 for Onions. All bowled 15 or 16 overs. The other wicket went to Trott (1-17 off 7). And I see that Brownlie had a fine innings too. All the bowlers were economical... apart from Onions.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Yesterday people were saying that they wanted England to bat on in the morning and have to work for their wickets. That has happened. The opposition are over 200 behind with only 4 wickets left so, job done on that front too. I can't see England enforcing the follow-on - even if they have the chance. They will bat again and ask Compton and Trott especially to get some runs and, hopefully, set up a result on the final day.

If things work out that way, the management will have got out what they want from the match.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 28, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

This game was obviously intended as a warmup for England before the Test series but it's handy for NZ to try out a few players too, especially given the unexpected vacancy at the top of the order courtesy of Guptill's injury.

Someone commented on yesterday's report and said that picking Onions over Broad for the first Test was a no-brainer. I'm afraid that they look like the no-brainer now. The fact that the report says that Broad worked up considerable pace is very encouraging and Onions has done himself no favours here. He's had basically no time in the middle lately so he'd be the rustiest of the bowlers but there's just no motivation for the selectors to pick him over Broad on this evidence. A lot of people are very down on Broad and he has had his tribulations, no doubt, but it should be obvious to everyone that that is due at least in part to injuries. I'll say again, Broad in top form is a great asset and regaining his lost pace is a sign that he may be approaching that again.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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