New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington

New Zealand facing a test of their stamina

George Dobell

March 13, 2013

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 14, 2013
Start time 10.30am (2130 GMT)


Stuart Broad produced a lively innings of 37 from 42 balls, England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day, August 20, 2012
Stuart Broad's batting form has fallen away sharply © PA Photos
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Had the first Test been decided on a points decision, there is little doubt that most judges would have awarded it to New Zealand. After bowling out England for 167 - their lowest first innings score since 2009 - the hosts replied with 460 to take a first innings lead of 293; their third highest against England in completed innings. While a flat pitch and some determined England batting prevented a repeat in the second innings, it was England who benefited most from the first day having been lost to rain.

But the fact is that the match was drawn and, bearing in mind the history of England improving after a faltering start, New Zealand may come to reflect that they have missed their best opportunity to strike a telling blow. Worryingly for New Zealand, this pitch is expected to provide more assistance to the England seamers.

It certainly proved that way in 2008. After New Zealand won the opening Test in Hamilton, England struck back at Wellington with Tim Ambrose recording his only Test century and claiming the man of the match award as England leveled the series. They subsequently went on to win it by prevailing in the final Test in Napier.

It remains to be seen how much the effort in Dunedin took out of the New Zealand side. While they should have taken confidence from some aspects of their performance, the concern is that their three seamers bowled 114 overs between them in the second innings in their pursuit of victory. With so little time to recover between the games, Wellington will offer a stern test of their stamina. The ability of Steven Finn, who went into the Dunedin Test with few pretensions as a batsman, to resist the New Zealand bowlers for nearly five hours in the second innings might also prove sobering for the hosts.

Still, any fears New Zealand had over the potency of England's seam attack should have been eased by the Dunedin performance. Indeed, in three first-class innings on the tour to date, England have yet to bowl out their opposition with the New Zealand XI in Queenstown declaring in their first innings and completing a testing fourth-innings target with three wickets in hand in their second innings.

Form guide

New Zealand DLLWL (Completed matches, most recent first)
England DDWWL

In the spotlight

Had Martin Guptill been fit, it is highly likely that Hamish Rutherford would not have played in the first Test in Dunedin. Rutherford seized his chance with some style, though, and in scoring 171 set a new high for an opener on debut against England. Only Mathew Sinclair, who made 214 on debut against West Indies in 1999, has made a higher score on New Zealand Test debut. Rutherford's excellent start has buoyed home hopes that a line-up containing Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum and, one day, perhaps, Jesse Ryder, might have the potential to develop into the strongest batting unit in New Zealand's Test history.

Stuart Broad's form has been the subject of much debate. But while the focus has tended to fall on his bowling - he claimed his first Test wickets since August in Dunedin - his batting has - arguably - fallen away more sharply. Since he last made a half-century - in January 2012 against Pakistan in the UAE - he has had 16 Test innings, passed 20 only four times with a highest score of 37 and averaged only 13.60. Perhaps more remarkably, in that time the average balls he has faced in a completed innings is just under 20. Such statistics do little to support the claim that he can be viewed as an allrounder and suggests that he may be batting too high at No.8.

Team news

New Zealand will be unchanged and England are likely to follow the same route. For New Zealand, Doug Bracewell has not recovered from the foot injury sustained while cleaning up glass after a party while for England Kevin Pietersen is expected to play despite what Andy Flower described as "a little bit of pain in his right knee." Flower went on to say: "Most of the players play with something sore most of the time. I don't anticipate it being a huge problem for us at all."

New Zealand 1 Peter Fulton, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Dean Brownlie, 6 Brendon McCullum (capt), 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Tim Southee, 9 Bruce Martin/Ian Butler, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Nick Compton, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Joe Root, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 James Anderson, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Monty Panesar*.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is expected to have more pace and bounce than Dunedin, with some claiming it is the quickest in New Zealand. The last time England played here, Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson both gained swing movement and claimed five-wicket hauls and it is worth noting that Chris Martin, with 60 wickets in 14 Tests, is the highest Test wicket-taker on the ground. Bowlers capable of generating bounce should enjoy it.

New Zealand have not won any of the last six Tests on the ground. The last two - against South Africa in 2012 and Pakistan in 2011 - have been drawn, though the weather played a role on both occasions.

Wind may also play a role. Wellington is a notoriously windy city and some bowlers struggle to adapt to the challenge of running into it. Shane Bond, the New Zealand bowling coach, has admitted it is an experience that all three of his side's leading seamers are unaccustomed to having developed as strike bowlers running in with the wind behind them.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand and England have played each other in 10 Tests at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. England have won four times and New Zealand only once, in 1978, when an England side captained by Geoff Boycott were bowled out for a paltry 64 chasing 137 for victory.

  • Nick Compton and Alastair Cook are currently averaging 81 per opening partnership. The sample size is small - they have now played five Tests together - but only Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe - who averaged 87.81 in 38 innings - of regular England openers have a better record.

  • New Zealand have won four of their last 33 Tests against England dating back to 1986. The last one of those game seven Test ago, at Hamilton in 2008,

  • James Anderson needs eight wickets to become the fourth England bowler after Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Ian Botham to take 300 in Tests. He needs five to draw level with Derek Underwood, currently the fourth highest wicket-taker in Tests for England.

Quotes

"We always knew the guys are fit, and can bowl a lot of volume, we just need to make sure they are fresh and ready to go."
Shane Bond, the New Zealand bowling coach reflecting on the fitness of his side's three seamers, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, who delivered 114 of the 170 overs in England's second innings in Dunedin.

"I'd rather have been batting for 170 overs than fielding, let's put it that way."
Matt Prior.

*06.40GMT, March 13: The preview had previously listed Graeme Swann in the line-up.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Charlie101 on (March 13, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

I tend to agree with maximum6 rather than slippingsillypoint . Ashwin and Ohja are no where near as good as Monty. H Singh is completely past it though you could make a good argument for Mendis and Herath being above Monty

Posted by slippingsillypoint on (March 13, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

@maximum6 MONTY in the top three spinner's in the world, Sorry nearly choked on my muesli when i read that this morning! You have to be joking, he wouldn't even be in my top 8!, in no particular order Mendis,Herath,Swann,Ashwin,Vettori,Price,Singh,Ojha are all far better bowler's than Monty, With records to back it up!

Posted by Dr_Spin on (March 13, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

Personally don't think you can use the last Test as an indicator of what's going to happen here. Having been put in to bat the Poms then had to wait a day for the privilege of kicking off their innings. While it's not acceptable to think this way, I'll wager they didn't think that there was ever going to be a result in a four day game and that was responsible for thier lacsidaisical first innings peformance where barring KP not a single batsman was actually got out. Looking forward to a better contest tonight...

Posted by lukecannon on (March 13, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

Mccullum must open. If he wants to hide from the new ball he must come in at 4 atleast. good luck NZ

Posted by SDHM on (March 13, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Personally wouldn't be risking KP - his movement was clearly restricted at Dunedin and he looked uncomfortable. Leaves you with a pretty green 5 & 6 with Root & Bairstow and despite how poorly he played in the last game NZ would prefer to bowl at a side that didn't have KP in it, but is it worth him doing lasting damage? England have already messed up with Swann, not sure they should go about doing it again. Anyway, the batting largely took care of getting itself back up after the 1st innings debacle in Dunedin - it's the bowling I'm worried about. The pitch does sound like it should suit them more however. I'm convinced part of the reason Finn has had trouble transferring his limited overs form to Tests is the fact he's been in & out of the side, a decent run in the Test XI should help. I'd be tempted to give Tredwell a go over Monty too; Monty looked like he'd slipped back into bad habits & looked rusty too. Tredwell has played & is a more like-for-like replacement for Swann.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 13, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Should be a great game and a genuine contest between bat and ball. I find it odd that some people would play Tredwell over Panesar. Incomprehensible to me as Monty is one of the world's top spinners-no.3 after Swann and Ajmal.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 13, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

@SurlyCynic Do New Zealand have another performance like that in them? How much has that Test taken out of them? Find out over the next two days...

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 13, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

@JG2704 I think that this is already decided. England will be unchanged, barring last minute issues, but I have to agree: if you bowl a spinner I suspect that Tredwell will get more out. However, Monty will play again aand is almost certain to play in the 3rd Test too as the man in possesion.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 13, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

All credit to England for their heroic fightback to secure a draw, but I'm just not sure they have another performance like that in them.

So the smart money has to be on New Zealand.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 13, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

Re this game itself I heard it said that it's a big toss to win at Wellington and one where you bowl first everytime so let's hope Cook does well in the tossing stakes too

Posted by JG2704 on (March 13, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

@landl47 on (March 13, 2013, 1:37 GMT) Re Monty - You could have a point. I think Swann and Monty complimented each other well in India. Monty with his sharper turn and probably bigger arsenal and Swann with his clever tactical bowling - changes of pace etc. My hunch is that Swann would do better on these pitches than Monty as I feel he is a better thinking bowler than Monty and Tredwell is probably more in the Swann mould and while he is certainly no batsmen he is better in that dept than Monty and certainly better in the field. It is frustrating that Monty couldn't learn to vary his pace a bit more. He'd then become a more complete bowler. If it's not an out and out spinners pitch I'd strongly consider Tredwell for Monty. And I made the point about the further 2 days rest our bowlers had at the end of the last game. I'd also add that if momentum comes into play , the 1st test draw will feel alot less satisfying for NZ than Eng

Posted by Great-shot444 on (March 13, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

NZ lost their best chance to beat England , now it will be difficult for them to beat england . GOOD LUCK to both the teams . From Pakistani fan

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 13, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Lots of trying to read the oracle bones around, but no one will know until battle has joined. For England, the dream scenario is to look at those weary New Zealand bowlers, win the toss and bat for 5 or 6 sessions. It is hard to imagine that they would fancy sending down another 150 overs at England. However, having seen New Zealand dominate the first two days of play in the 1st Test, they are quite capable of coming out and playing another blinder, although there is a suspicion that they have missed their chance to catch England cold.

Posted by pt_pt on (March 13, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

It will be interesting how NZ go in this test. Usually they start of poor in the first test and play better in the second and third tests. Hope this is not going to happen the other way around! Don't think the 170 overs in field last match will be an issue, the weather was nice and cool in Dunedin, so bowlers should be fresh to go again. Both teams seem to be evenly matched.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (March 13, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

If Chris Martin holds best bowling performance record on this ground then he should have been there in playing 11 for kiwis.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

We keep hearing that the Basin Reserve will suit England's seamers more than New Zealand's, but based on the evidence we saw at Dunedin, I'd venture to suggest it'll be a pretty close call. Hopefully Monty won't be as anodyne as he was in the first Test, but it's hard to blame him for failing to acclimatise sufficiently given that the England management, in their infinite wisdom, elected not to give him a whirl at Queenstown despite knowing full well that Swann was a doubt for Dunedin.

Really not sure about playing KP if his knee injury's significantly restricting his movement at the crease. He looked leaden-footed & listless at Dunedin, but it's something of a quandary for Messrs Flower & Cook, as it'd be hard to justify leaving either Bairstow or Root out for the Ashes opener were both to score big in KP's absence.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

Graeme Swann? Wishful thinking!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

Swann is not in the Test Squard any more so how he can play??

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 13, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

It's reminiscent of the Perth test between SA and aus. Having pushed the saffers and having been the markedly better team for the first two tests against, a markedly better team in SA, the Adelaide test completely took it out of aus, and SA after stark resistance in the last day, had the confidence and destroyed us in Perth.

It's perfectly similar, SA are the much better team than aus, and england are to NZ. Both games were both on flat decks, and the aus attack was dead tired as a result for fielding for so long, and for NZ with the same attack, I doubt highly they'll be able to take 20 England wickets in the next test. The first test could've been very deflating for NZ After being so close and yet so far, and England would be confident for two reasons: they batted for 170 overs, and they historically bounce back if they have a dismal showing in the first test of the series.

However, NZ played very well, and it would be a surprise if they just dropped off. Prediction: tight eng win

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 2:38 GMT)

I don't think Graeme Swan will be playing. I believe it is likely to be Monty Panesar

Posted by 98-10_157-0 on (March 13, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

George, I am sure it is a slip of the finger that you have included Graeme Swann in your "probable" team - presumably you meant Monty, or is there a chance England will go with 4 seamers? Harsh to put Finn at No 11, one could make an argument for him to be at No 8 to hold up one end while the last recognised batsman is still in.

Posted by BenGundry on (March 13, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

NZ batting still needs a lot of work. When you take out Rutherford's effort and a good opening partnership, it looks like every other innings NZ has had for several years. Lot's of starts, but too many people getting out after that start.

McCullum had an excuse as rapid scoring was needed at that point, but 5 out of the top 7 should be disappointed they couldn't go on on a flat pitch.

Posted by landl47 on (March 13, 2013, 1:37 GMT)

Swann must have made a remarkable recovery if he is in England's probable XI (needs editing, George!).

England's bowlers have had almost two full days' rest more than NZ's- well, except for Finn, who was batting most of the last day. I'm sure the NZ bowlers are fit, but that has to tell after a couple of days in the field. It might give McCullum a very difficult decision should he win the toss: if England's top order see through the early sessions there could be a lot of runs on offer.

England has to think carefully about whether to play Panesar or Tredwell. I suggested that this wasn't likely to be a series where Panesar flourished and he was ineffective in the first test. If what's required is a holding action from the spinner, Tredwell is a better ODI bowler and a much better lower order bat and fielder. Monty's a fine bowler in the right situation, but this probably isn't it.

If NZ can improve on the first test it will be a great achievement. England must be favourites.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 1:02 GMT)

What England need to make sure of in this test match is that they do not underestimate New Zealand. England have to play sensible cricket if they want to win. The first test proved that England cannot just walk over the Kiwi's as many of us thought they would; the strokeplay has to be sensible, i.e, no more fishing way outside off stump at wide deliveries; and the bowling has to be fuller. Kevin Pietersen in particular will likely need to get himself in for 10 or 20 overs before he bats with his usual fluidity. If he falls again for a meager score, Bairstow will likely be his replacement in the 3rd and final match, but I think if Pietersen's terrible form does continue, England will give Eoin Morgan another call for in the series after this one as he surely deserves it what with his County performances and his ODI performances this year.

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