What happened in the England vs New Zealand First Test?
It was a draw. It will best be remembered for a fine debut for Ollie Robinson, who took seven wickets in the game to go with a battling 42 with the bat. More on him in a bit.
It will also be remembered for Devon Conway’s brilliant 200 in the first innings. The knock allowed New Zealand not only to recover from a tricky position but also to drag the game away from England. That’s because as a result of his 200, the Black Caps ended up posting a far bigger score than it seemed first up.
Ultimately the main factor though was the weather. Had there not been so much time lost on day three to rain, we would have ended up with a thrilling fourth-innings run chase that could have gone either way.
England Team News
Robinson is out. He’s been suspended by England after Tweets from him from a few years ago were discovered and found to have both racist and sexist comments. England (obviously) let him play the First Test and as we’ve seen already, he performed extremely well.
But they didn’t forgive and announced that he’s currently suspended from the team until a full investigation is concluded. So he’ll have to be replaced.
One option is to just bring in Jack Leach and play him as the sole spinner on a surface that should turn far more than Lord’s. The problem with that is that they’re trading a proper all-rounder for a Number 10 or 11 batsman so may be afraid their batting is a bit light.
The easier option would be to bring in Craig Overton, who has similar characteristics to Robinson. Dan Lawrence had a poor test thanks to a duck but would be harsh not to give him one more chance.
The big news is that Trent Boult may be available to play for the Black Caps. A relaxed quarantine in the UK allowed him to train properly these last few days and by all accounts, he’s ready to go.
This is one of the world’s top bowlers in Test cricket we’re talking about but it won’t be so easy to know who to leave out.
Tim Southee took seven wickets in the game, while Neil Wagner did his usual thing of working tirelessly in bowling 40 overs in the match, which returned three wickets.
And Kyle Jamieson was good, too. He bowled well enough and they like having him around because he’s the best batsman from among the bowlers.
The solution may be to go in without a frontline spinner and play Boult instead of Mitchell Shatner. He had a quiet game not taking any wickets and scoring 0 in the only chance he had to bat so he looks to be the one most likely to be sacrificed.
All the batsmen either had good games or have plenty of credit still in the bank so there shouldn’t be any changes among the Top 7. Having said that, skipper Willaimson is struggling with an injury and there remains a slight doubt he might miss out, especially with the World Test Championship final coming up. But I believe he’ll play.
Edgbaston has traditionally been a fortress for England, whose players enjoy batting and bowling there and who get to benefit from the loudest and most passionate supporters of any cricket ground in the country.
Just look at their record here: they’ve played 52 times at Edgbaston and won 28 of those games, drawing 15 and losing just 9.
They’ve been good over the last few years in Birmingham, as well. In their last nine matches there, they only lost once, to Australia in 2019. They drew against the Windies in 2012 but won the other seven.
It’s in stark contrast to New Zealand. They’ve played at Edgbaston four times and lost the lot.
No rain is forecast so there doesn’t seem to be a repeat of Lord’s on the cards, where a full day lost to bad weather meant the match was always likely to head for a draw.
England vs New Zealand Head-to-Head
You could certainly say that it’s mostly been one-way traffic in this fixture over the years. In 105 Test matches between them, England have won 48 of them (45.7%) with 46 draws (43.8%) and just 11 wins (10.4%) for the Black Caps.
Unsurprisingly, England’s dominance is even greater at home where they’ve won 30 out of 54 (55.5%), with 19 draws (18%) and just five wins (4.7%).
Given that the first test ended in a draw, it’s easy to see it hasn’t made much of a difference in the England vs New Zealand head to head statistics.
England vs New Zealand Toss Winner
Time for some England v New Zealand toss winner statistics. It was six (England) plays four (New Zealand) across the last ten tosses prior to Lord’s and after I tipped Joe Root to win it on the day, he did.
Root has a good record in general so we’re sticking with the angel-faced England skipper to do the business again.
After England went into the First Test as strong favourites, the markets have re-evaluated and made this almost a 50/50 affair. So it’s 2.20 England, 2.35 New Zealand and 5.2 the draw.
On the one hand, we don’t like the draw because the weather is set to be fair and Edgbaston doesn’t tend to produce too many draws in general. On the other hand we don’t want to be losing our money on the draw.
So the solution is to go with New Zealand on the Draw/No Bet market. They looked the better side at Lord’s, they know England will be without Robinson and they’re the slightly better price.
If it does end in a draw, you’ll just get refunded.
Rory Burns hit a brilliant century (132 to be precise) in the first innings of the Lord’s Test, while just about everyone else among the England batsmen struggled.
It was a knock that pretty much saved England from defeat and in addition to Burns being in form, he also has good form at Edgbaston. He scored a century the last time he played here.
So he ticks those two boxes and also the one of being available at attractive odds, which is the most important of all. And that’s without even mentioning the fact that no other England batters are in any great form, so that really does seal the deal.
England vs New Zealand fun statistics
And we’re going to round things off with some cool status ahead of the Second Test. You know, just so you can impress your mates!
If James Anderson plays in this match, he will become England’s most-capped Test player ever on 162, overtaking Alastair Cook’s 161.
Four of the last seven Tests here were won by the side batting first.
Kane Williamson has the chance to reach his 25th Test century in this match.
Remarkably, Devon Conway’s 200 in the First Test was on his international debut.