New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day March 18, 2013

We are not playing for draws - McCullum

  shares 36

Brendon McCullum has strongly resisted claims that New Zealand have gone into the series against England with a mindset of trying to avoid defeat rather than aiming for victory. Their previous Test series had been a torrid affair in South Africa, where the top order understandably failed to cope with the No. 1 bowling attack in the world, but he insisted there was no hangover from that contest.

The nature of the two Tests support McCullum's stance; they set the pace in Dunedin, scoring at nearly four-an-over in their innings as they tried to make up for lost time and never stopped trying to dismiss England for a second time over the final two days. Their approach to this Test in Wellington was dictated by a poor first day, which left them trying to make up ground and they fought back on the second, but once England reached 465 they had to set their stall out to save the match.

"If you've seen the way we've played in the last two Tests we've been reasonably proactive," McCullum said. "We go into every game trying to win, it's not about hanging on for a draw. We see it as a great opportunity to clinch a series win against England, which is something we'd all hold very fondly."

McCullum also defended the Test pitches and hopes the surface in Auckland is similar to those served up during the series so far. He is adamant that it has been the weather, rather than the nature of the 22 yards, which has led to two stalemates and set up a deciding match later in the week.

It has been hard work for the bowlers on both sides during the series, but there has been success for some to enjoy notably Neil Wagner in Dunedin and Stuart Broad in Wellington. McCullum made a pointed reference to David Saker's comments about the pitches not being ideal for Test cricket on Sunday, but is more than pleased with the conditions he has been given.

"I've read and heard a lot about our pitches being too flat. It seems to be bowling coaches who have an issue with them. It's always going to be the way," he said. "If you look at the first Test we lost a whole day to rain and there would have been a result in that game and in this Test as well we've lost a day and a half to rain and it would have been interestingly poised. There would probably have been a result, too.

"It's not three or four-day Tests, it's five-day grinding wickets were you have to work incredible hard for your fruits but I don't see anything wrong with our wickets and they have certainly allowed both teams periods of dominance. For me, I'd like a wicket similar to these last two [in Auckland]."

Alastair Cook maintained England's view they would like more bounce from the pitches. "In an ideal world, we would," he said. "It makes for slightly more exciting cricket certainly. Whichever wicket we get, we've got to try to find the best way of winning the game."

Even if there is more life on offer at Eden Park - which will use a drop-in surface and will host a Test just days after the latest rugby game at the ground - McCullum has seen enough of his batsmen that he is convinced they can adapt to the challenge.

"If it is a bit bouncier than we've seen in this one, and especially in Dunedin, we'll have to come up with a strategy to overcome it and I'm confident that the guys are treading in the right direction. We'll see how we respond," he said. "It's been a good series for us so far, we are learning a bit about ourselves and were we are at. We have made some improvements from previous series but we know the third Test is what we will be decided on."

He also backed his decision to bowl by saying, as Tim Southee did during the match, that the bowlers did not make the most of conditions. "Certainly no regrets in this game," he said. "If you do that you won't be able to get out of bed each morning. It was about the best way to win this Test, which was to get some favourable conditions on day one. Even though the Test didn't last five days we didn't see the wicket breaking up. I don't think it's too bad a strategy for playing Test cricket in New Zealand."

McCullum suggested that he favours an unchanged team for the final Test - his pace bowlers have had a decent break after England enforced the follow-on followed by the rain - although he will wait to see how Doug Bracewell comes through his domestic one-day outing on Wednesday, where he will test his injured foot, before making a clearer plan over how he will attack the final Test.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY reywob on | March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    England are really the better team by along way ,but Nz have shown a bit of fight,the pitch in Auckland will be bait better but these are NZ conditions so England needs to learn to play on them to their potential.Fulton needs a good game along with southee to ensure that they are not replace in the pecking order by Papps and Butler for the England tour,Vettori will be our bowling also under at 6 . Martin took more wickets in 2 matches then Vettori has in along time. NZ are on the up at last

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | March 20, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    @SamRoy on (March 20, 2013, 8:38 GMT) KP's SR wasn't that great in either of the tests. It was similar to Cook's in the 1st test and worse than Cook/Trott in the second. Nick's SR hasn't been good but he started showing signs of being more expansive in his last inns. But then again he had HUGE pressure on his shoulders recently with all the talk of him being axed.Every other batsman (maybe bar Root) could go on for a long time without scoring runs knowing they won't be dropped

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | March 20, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    People who want to win should play positively. So in environments where the pitch is flat and you want to win the run rate must be greater than 3.5. Neither of Cook, Compton or Trott are exactly positive batsman. So if Pietersen and Prior don't bat long innings the innings run rate rarely goes into the healthy region (>3.5). If you can bat quicker, you can declare faster and give your bowlers more overs to get the opposition out twice. More than 50% of pitches around the world are very flat. Can't complain about that one though.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | March 19, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut on (March 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT) I always think you should not play for a draw to begin with but to be able to hang on to draw a game - SA did well in Oz recently - is certainly another string to the bow.

  • POSTED BY on | March 19, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    I honestly think there has been real quality from both teams in both tests. England batted poorly in the 1st test but NZ bowled really well and Baz set real attacking fields that forced them into mistakes. 9/10 wickets thrown away isn't true, 2 tail-enders hitting out after the highest partnership is not usually called "throwing your wickets away." Then Rutherford and Baz showed real quality in batting. Compton and Cook were also fantastic in saving the match, making it look quite easy actually.

    Then 2nd test, Compton and Trott, again made it look easy, but then Baz with aggressive fields and Martin bowling well restricted England. Then Broad, after all the stick he gets, came back with some great spells to get rid of NZ cheaply.

    England are the classier side and NZ are more prone to batting collapses and seamers not penetrating, but it has been great cricket allround.

  • POSTED BY dnsl08 on | March 19, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Imagine if NZ had got bowled out in their second innings just before the rain came - better to be defensive than naive. As shown by South Africa in Australia. The way Williamson in particular assessed the sitution and applied himself was excellent.

    Not that I'm saying Nz have been defensive this series, because they haven't been particularly

  • POSTED BY on | March 19, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    No excuses from our England team, we rank higher than them and supposed to be bundling them out regardless of the conditions. Obviously England are mile ahead of New Zealand despite those 2 draws.

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | March 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    I don't mind if we are playing for a draw, sounds negitive i know but nz need to learn how to not lose a test, once they can do that on a more regular basis then look to win on a more regular basis. Not losing against the second best team in the world even if we don't win is actually a good result for nz if you consider how bad we have been the last few years. I want us to win but right now i'll settle for not losing.

  • POSTED BY SameOld on | March 19, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    A lot of punters showing a complete lack of cricketing acumen and even basic observation skills in the comments here.

    Baz has impressed at number 5? Really? That's funny, he's played at 6 all tour so far.

    NZ too defensive? Again, a strange interpretation, given that their run rate has been better throughout both Tests, England shut up shop on day 3 of the 1st Test, and McCullum has clearly and consistantly been more aggressive in the field than Cook.

    And despite the rain in the latter stages of both Tests, NZ has been suffering a severe drought this Summer, so it might be a big ask to prepare green wickets, don't you think?

    As for England winning the 1st Test if it had gone the distance... Well, the less said about that theory, the better.

  • POSTED BY thekaz on | March 18, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    McCullum is right we would have had two results had there not been rain, although, no bias included, I could have seen England winning the first test, getting 250 run lead and then bowling NZ out cheaply, unlikely but not impossible. Although the two tests would have been won because of two poor batting performances not because the pitches offered anything, to pace or spin. There needs to be a balance between bat and ball, effectively these pitches have done nothing, even if you go to India and people complain about no assistance for the seamers, but at least it spins from ball one. Really do think they need to look at using the Duke ball all over in test cricket, at least that way there will be more Seam movement and bounce later into the innings. Flat wickets = boring test cricket for the most part, and the ICC wonder why crowds are down

  • POSTED BY reywob on | March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    England are really the better team by along way ,but Nz have shown a bit of fight,the pitch in Auckland will be bait better but these are NZ conditions so England needs to learn to play on them to their potential.Fulton needs a good game along with southee to ensure that they are not replace in the pecking order by Papps and Butler for the England tour,Vettori will be our bowling also under at 6 . Martin took more wickets in 2 matches then Vettori has in along time. NZ are on the up at last

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | March 20, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    @SamRoy on (March 20, 2013, 8:38 GMT) KP's SR wasn't that great in either of the tests. It was similar to Cook's in the 1st test and worse than Cook/Trott in the second. Nick's SR hasn't been good but he started showing signs of being more expansive in his last inns. But then again he had HUGE pressure on his shoulders recently with all the talk of him being axed.Every other batsman (maybe bar Root) could go on for a long time without scoring runs knowing they won't be dropped

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | March 20, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    People who want to win should play positively. So in environments where the pitch is flat and you want to win the run rate must be greater than 3.5. Neither of Cook, Compton or Trott are exactly positive batsman. So if Pietersen and Prior don't bat long innings the innings run rate rarely goes into the healthy region (>3.5). If you can bat quicker, you can declare faster and give your bowlers more overs to get the opposition out twice. More than 50% of pitches around the world are very flat. Can't complain about that one though.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | March 19, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut on (March 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT) I always think you should not play for a draw to begin with but to be able to hang on to draw a game - SA did well in Oz recently - is certainly another string to the bow.

  • POSTED BY on | March 19, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    I honestly think there has been real quality from both teams in both tests. England batted poorly in the 1st test but NZ bowled really well and Baz set real attacking fields that forced them into mistakes. 9/10 wickets thrown away isn't true, 2 tail-enders hitting out after the highest partnership is not usually called "throwing your wickets away." Then Rutherford and Baz showed real quality in batting. Compton and Cook were also fantastic in saving the match, making it look quite easy actually.

    Then 2nd test, Compton and Trott, again made it look easy, but then Baz with aggressive fields and Martin bowling well restricted England. Then Broad, after all the stick he gets, came back with some great spells to get rid of NZ cheaply.

    England are the classier side and NZ are more prone to batting collapses and seamers not penetrating, but it has been great cricket allround.

  • POSTED BY dnsl08 on | March 19, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Imagine if NZ had got bowled out in their second innings just before the rain came - better to be defensive than naive. As shown by South Africa in Australia. The way Williamson in particular assessed the sitution and applied himself was excellent.

    Not that I'm saying Nz have been defensive this series, because they haven't been particularly

  • POSTED BY on | March 19, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    No excuses from our England team, we rank higher than them and supposed to be bundling them out regardless of the conditions. Obviously England are mile ahead of New Zealand despite those 2 draws.

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | March 19, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    I don't mind if we are playing for a draw, sounds negitive i know but nz need to learn how to not lose a test, once they can do that on a more regular basis then look to win on a more regular basis. Not losing against the second best team in the world even if we don't win is actually a good result for nz if you consider how bad we have been the last few years. I want us to win but right now i'll settle for not losing.

  • POSTED BY SameOld on | March 19, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    A lot of punters showing a complete lack of cricketing acumen and even basic observation skills in the comments here.

    Baz has impressed at number 5? Really? That's funny, he's played at 6 all tour so far.

    NZ too defensive? Again, a strange interpretation, given that their run rate has been better throughout both Tests, England shut up shop on day 3 of the 1st Test, and McCullum has clearly and consistantly been more aggressive in the field than Cook.

    And despite the rain in the latter stages of both Tests, NZ has been suffering a severe drought this Summer, so it might be a big ask to prepare green wickets, don't you think?

    As for England winning the 1st Test if it had gone the distance... Well, the less said about that theory, the better.

  • POSTED BY thekaz on | March 18, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    McCullum is right we would have had two results had there not been rain, although, no bias included, I could have seen England winning the first test, getting 250 run lead and then bowling NZ out cheaply, unlikely but not impossible. Although the two tests would have been won because of two poor batting performances not because the pitches offered anything, to pace or spin. There needs to be a balance between bat and ball, effectively these pitches have done nothing, even if you go to India and people complain about no assistance for the seamers, but at least it spins from ball one. Really do think they need to look at using the Duke ball all over in test cricket, at least that way there will be more Seam movement and bounce later into the innings. Flat wickets = boring test cricket for the most part, and the ICC wonder why crowds are down

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | March 18, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Does anyone know why Eden Park is hosting the 3rd Test?. In recent times NZL have tended to schedule their test matches at smaller venues due to the relativley small crowds they getfor tests. It seems a bit ironic that they have chosen to host this test match at the largest sports venue in the country. I would have expected Napier or Hamilton to have been a more suitable venue.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | March 18, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    I don't think the kiwis themselves are playing for draws but it has to be said the nature of both the surfaces we have seen have not been what we would normally expect in NZL, perhaps the dry the summer they have been having has had something to do with it.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | March 18, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    My only hope is that we get a sporting wicket & 5 days of dry weather in Auckland. It would make the series a bit of a non event if we get more days washed out and end up with a series drawn nil nil

  • POSTED BY GrumpiusMaximus on | March 18, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    I'm English, so obviously I have an allegiance to our team.

    With that said, I have to applaud NZ for the tenacity and guile they've shown so far in this series. Whilst England winning this match with a full five-day schedule was reasonably certain, NZ showed great spirit in their second innings to bat well enough and long enough to draw. England did the same thing in the first test and NZ have returned - albeit with a slightly easier remit because of the loss of nearly two whole days.

    The wickets have been an issue but as Martin showed with his spin and Broad showed with his seam, it's been demonstrated that some bowlers will work better and that bowling out a team is far from impossible. Perhaps England need to consider a more flexible spinner (and I'm a huge fan of Monty) that can adjust to pitches. Tredwell's on the tour, so I'd like to see him play.

    A great performance by New Zealand to not just roll over. Real guts and fight there. I'm won over.

  • POSTED BY Staunch_for_NZ on | March 18, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Both games lost enough overs, if not lost both would have had results and the first test would have been NZ while the second test could have been a draw or win to England (i feel a draw would have been quite possible since the English attack had been blunted with their quickies anyway.) England will now be coming into this test very nervous. Forcast is for a full test, the Monsoon has gone and the drought returning (as 1 inch did nothing) I believe NZ wins this test and go to England making it very exciting.

  • POSTED BY StevieS on | March 18, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Yes New Zealand did loss to India when they were hear and the reason was we didn't prepare green tops, remember the series before that, India were thrashed. If India came here again and we prepared greentops I would put my money on us winning again. It's in our best interests to serve up juicy wickets as I have said before, our seam attack is as good as any on greentops.

  • POSTED BY WilliamFranklin on | March 18, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Harsh given NZ dominated the first 2 and half days of the first test. After South Africa the priority for New Zealand was gaining some stablility which they have done.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | March 18, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    In too many countries tracks are being prepared to favour the batting side. I miss they days of ENG/NZ creating rancing green seamers where 200 in the first innings was good going. The pitches in New Zeland and England for that matter are becoming flatter and faltter. Rarely in England will you see a genuine greeen top (despite what bitter Indian fans will say), and in New Zeland they have become featherbeds. The only green seamers you see in cricket these days are in South Africa and the test matches there are always a great watch for the spectators. I think sides like ENG/AUS and NZ should prepare green tops for 70% of test matches. Listenting to so many SC fans it seems like it has become a crime to produce them at present. Too many draws caused by featherbeds in both ENG and NZ.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | March 18, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    It's fair that the series is level, NZ have had some good periods in the matches. Hope they take the 3rd test.

    Can't believe England fans saying England would 'one or two up' without rain, guess their memories don't go as far back as the first test. Perhaps they're barmy army regulars whose minds are on other things.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | March 18, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    I do not see what the problem is unless someone confesses to owning a weather control machine. Of the two captains McCullum is the more aggressive by nature and I would not think he'd play for draws unless necessary. Pitches? NZ w9ickets tend to go low and slow anyway.Wellington lasted for 31/3 days alone-no-one normally expects a result in that time. Put it all down to uncontrollable factors.

  • POSTED BY shane-oh on | March 18, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    @ Hiteshvara - steady on chap. NZ would almost certainly have won the first test if not for the weather. Conversely, England were well on track for a win in the second. I'd call that a pretty even series to date, wouldn't you? All this talk about the pitches is a bit of a silly distracting method from England, if you ask me - everyone can immediately see what nonsense it is given the fact that the only reason we are sitting a 0-0 is because of rain. As for doctoring the pitches in England to make them green - NZ wouldn't mind that either, given our strength in the seam bowling department at the moment. I think you've become a little blinded and to be honest, your comments about the NZ batters and where they fit in in the cricket world are uninformed and rather silly. I do wonder if people such as yourself really know anything about the game at all when I read tripe like that.

  • POSTED BY bobbo2 on | March 18, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    In 5 days both tests would have produced results. Pleased to see NZ playing well. McCullum and Hesson doing a good job with the team.

  • POSTED BY cheesemethod on | March 18, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    I dont care what anyone says, this NZ team playing against a cricket superpower has revived a lot of faith in the community. Win/loss/win/loss the seesaw batlle has made this a great tour. I like mccullums captaincy and how good is it seeing him finally play at number 5, the spot was made for him.. I give NZ a moral victory for the first test and england evened it out in the 2nd test so its fair enough that the true decider is at eden park (although i still dont believe eden parks new layout should be an ICC approved around).

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | March 18, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    If NZ draws against SA, Eng, Aus, Ind, SL- then its a Winning performance by them. And for ENG if even WHITEWASHED by NZ, WI, Pak then nothing to bother, fear, or tension. These teams only surprise but not threat of competition. Very amazing to see only bracewell is injured what about other players-- get injured fella you have to follow NZ taboo.

  • POSTED BY Smash42 on | March 18, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @Hiteshvara

    NZ beat Australia in a test playing in seaming conditions, which is a lot better than any of the sub-continent sides could muster.

  • POSTED BY rixgm on | March 18, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    To put it in context the dunedin and welly tests have runs/wicket of 41 and 40, The Chennai and Mohali tests jave similar numbers of 40 & 38 (after vijay's dismissal). I think without the rain there was a likely result or absorbing draws. Personally I think this is preferable to 3 day thrasings for both sides.

  • POSTED BY Hiteshvara on | March 18, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    If every country start following the blue print of New zealand,i can guarantee there will be very few wins..Reason New zealand are dishing out such pitches because they have lost to South africa,India,Pakistan in their last home series..Hence they are being so defensive..England should take note of this and can get revenge in the return home series in England..England should give green pitches and guarantee all the tests will be over in 2-3 days as New zealand batters are just above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in playing swing and seam conditions..

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | March 18, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Noone's playing for draws and both these games could have produced results if not for the weather so maybe everyone should wake up and stop whining.

  • POSTED BY neilwilkes on | March 18, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    No matter what happens it is impossible to please everyone. The wickets are what they are, and both teams simply have to work with what they get. If there had been no rain, England would certainly be one up, maybe 2 up (unlikely) but either way, Wellington would have produced a result.

    Let's hope for a full 5 days in the final test

  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | March 18, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    NZ have been gutsy and impressive so far, fun to watch.

  • POSTED BY weasel_zapper on | March 18, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    @hettypie you're forgetting NZ declared first innings in Dunedin after they had a bit of a go on the 4th morning, if it wasn't rain affected NZ were in a position to bat England completely out of the match the way things were going.

    If anyone's playing for draws surely it's England judging by some of their field settings and their runrate on the 1st day in Wellington.

    Should be a good last test if the weather holds off this time.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    NZ started the series in spectacular fashion and have remained in it through a mix of harrying the English into playing below their potential and managing an uncharacteristic number of decent partnerships. But remained in it they have and the EP test is an amazing opportunity with all the pressure on the opposition.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    NZ were saved by the weather in Wgtn and no one was going to win on that Dunedin 'road'. McCullum can spin things any way he wants but the problems that have been besetting the NZ batting line up are still there. A problematic opening pair (Rutherford has potential but surely the BCs cant continue with Peter Fulton given his age and leaden footedness against short pitched bowling), and a tendency to fold in the first innings (which means you are on the defensive for the rest of the game unless your opponents have a total meltdown). Unless and until NZ can regularly put together decent p/ships at the top and avoid first innings meltdowns they will not be able to compete against the top tier countries.

  • POSTED BY Nathan74 on | March 18, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Of course McCullam will like a wicket like Dunedin where you can play for 10 days and get no results. Wellington was little better. But we want a sporting wicket where the bowlers and batsman have a even contest and the match has a results. Last two tests the odds were stacked against the ball. Lots will depend on the final test for England and their rankings. I wonder if their bowlers will be fully fit for the final test. Who knows NZ may win the match and win the series.

  • POSTED BY 22many on | March 18, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    big difference BMAC, is that in the first test England were still in front run wise with time to play....another hundred and NZ getting 200 plus in the last innings would not have been easy...I would have backed England....second test all England.....50s and 60s dont win tests Bmac....big hundreds do....

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | March 18, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    It doesn't matter either way. If NZ can draw a series against England, that is a great effort.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | March 18, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    It doesn't matter either way. If NZ can draw a series against England, that is a great effort.

  • POSTED BY 22many on | March 18, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    big difference BMAC, is that in the first test England were still in front run wise with time to play....another hundred and NZ getting 200 plus in the last innings would not have been easy...I would have backed England....second test all England.....50s and 60s dont win tests Bmac....big hundreds do....

  • POSTED BY Nathan74 on | March 18, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Of course McCullam will like a wicket like Dunedin where you can play for 10 days and get no results. Wellington was little better. But we want a sporting wicket where the bowlers and batsman have a even contest and the match has a results. Last two tests the odds were stacked against the ball. Lots will depend on the final test for England and their rankings. I wonder if their bowlers will be fully fit for the final test. Who knows NZ may win the match and win the series.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    NZ were saved by the weather in Wgtn and no one was going to win on that Dunedin 'road'. McCullum can spin things any way he wants but the problems that have been besetting the NZ batting line up are still there. A problematic opening pair (Rutherford has potential but surely the BCs cant continue with Peter Fulton given his age and leaden footedness against short pitched bowling), and a tendency to fold in the first innings (which means you are on the defensive for the rest of the game unless your opponents have a total meltdown). Unless and until NZ can regularly put together decent p/ships at the top and avoid first innings meltdowns they will not be able to compete against the top tier countries.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    NZ started the series in spectacular fashion and have remained in it through a mix of harrying the English into playing below their potential and managing an uncharacteristic number of decent partnerships. But remained in it they have and the EP test is an amazing opportunity with all the pressure on the opposition.

  • POSTED BY weasel_zapper on | March 18, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    @hettypie you're forgetting NZ declared first innings in Dunedin after they had a bit of a go on the 4th morning, if it wasn't rain affected NZ were in a position to bat England completely out of the match the way things were going.

    If anyone's playing for draws surely it's England judging by some of their field settings and their runrate on the 1st day in Wellington.

    Should be a good last test if the weather holds off this time.

  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | March 18, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    NZ have been gutsy and impressive so far, fun to watch.

  • POSTED BY neilwilkes on | March 18, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    No matter what happens it is impossible to please everyone. The wickets are what they are, and both teams simply have to work with what they get. If there had been no rain, England would certainly be one up, maybe 2 up (unlikely) but either way, Wellington would have produced a result.

    Let's hope for a full 5 days in the final test

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | March 18, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Noone's playing for draws and both these games could have produced results if not for the weather so maybe everyone should wake up and stop whining.

  • POSTED BY Hiteshvara on | March 18, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    If every country start following the blue print of New zealand,i can guarantee there will be very few wins..Reason New zealand are dishing out such pitches because they have lost to South africa,India,Pakistan in their last home series..Hence they are being so defensive..England should take note of this and can get revenge in the return home series in England..England should give green pitches and guarantee all the tests will be over in 2-3 days as New zealand batters are just above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in playing swing and seam conditions..