New Zealand v England 1st Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Black Caps to defeat new-look England

Joe Root (PA Images)

There are no World Test Championship (WTC) points at stake, but New Zealand and England have a lot to play for in their two-Test series which starts at Mount Maunganui on Thursday.

Incidentally, this is the first-ever match at this picturesque venue that has so far hosted only white-ball formats. England are starting a new era with a lot of changes to their squad, while the hosts are looking to continue their home dominance.

New Zealand


The Kiwis are one of the toughest teams playing at home, and they haven’t lost since March 2017. They have won six of their last eight home Tests and are on a three-match winning run. They are also unbeaten in three Tests against England, winning two of those.

What sets New Zealand apart is their strength in batting, shouldered equally by every batsman. Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls present a strong support to captain Kane Williamson. Then there is the bowling set-up that is perfect for their conditions – Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner leading them.

England


This is England’s first foray after the Ashes defeat and they have made drastic changes to their line-up. A new opening partnership will look to blossom, as debutant Dom Sibley will take guard with Rory Burns. Joe Root remains the bedrock of their batting, while Ben Stokes’ all-round skills are always a treasure.

England’s bowling attack, however, does not have the same killer edge. Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer will have to shoulder a lot of burden, while the likes of Chris Woakes and Sam Curran look to add versatility.

Match Up


New Zealand have always been strong in home conditions and are one of the toughest to beat. It is due to the consistent efforts across the group. While batting continues to revolve around Williamson, their bowling attack gives New Zealand a definite edge over England. Should the pitch be a little flat, England have no X-factor other than Archer. New Zealand should fancy their chances of a win, considering the wholesale changes in the England unit.

History & Statistics


  • New Zealand have won four of their last five Tests.
  • New Zealand have won six of their last eight home Tests, including the last three.
  • Seven of New Zealand’s last nine home wins have come while batting first.
  • Five of the last six results in H2Hs favoured the team batting first.
  • England are winless in their last three Tests against New Zealand (D1, L2).
  • Five of the last six results in England’s away matches favoured the team batting first.

Key Players


BJ Watling has been the silent hero for New Zealand for a long time. More often than not, he saves the team with contributions of 40+ and valuable partnerships with the lower order.

Rory Burns established himself as England’s settled opener with an excellent Ashes campaign (390 runs, 2x50 1x100). He will once again be pivotal for England’s chances.

Tips



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New Zealand v England 1st Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Black Caps to defeat new-look England

There are no World Test Championship (WTC) points at stake, but New Zealand and England have a lot to play for in their two-Test series which starts at Mount Maunganui on Thursday.

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