Date: 2 June 2021
Time: 3:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Lord's Cricket Ground, London
Live Ball-by-Ball commentary: SportsTiger App
England will be up against New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series, commencing on Wednesday at the Lord's Stadium in London. While the Kiwis will identify it as a preparation ground for the all-important ICC World Test Championship final against India later in June in English conditions, for the home team, it would be interesting to see how the newer lot of players respond to the challenges of Test cricket. Notably, England's multi-format players like Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, and Jonny Bairstow have all been rested for this tour after they completed their quarantine since returning from the suspended IPL 2021.
This means an opportunity for the likes of Ollie Robinson and James Bracey who have received national call-ups. In addition, Haseeb Ahmed, who made his Test debut against India in 2016, has also been included. Even Sam Billings could get an opportunity to make his Test debut after he replaced Ben Foakes who sustained an injury. Earlier, head coach Chris Silverwood had also said that England will stick to their much-debated rotation policy as they aim to find the perfect team combination for Ashes later this year. Hence, it becomes pretty hard to predict the England XI then.
Coming to the Black Caps, more than anything else, they would like to get used to the conditions before taking on India for the summit clash. While the visitors have had a largely settled unit, the entry of players like Devon Conway into the mix has created some healthy competition. However, they would also look to be clever with their selections for this series and perhaps rest some of their regulars to avoid too much exertion prior to the Test Championship final.
Expect some high-quality cricket from the two teams then in this Test at Lord's.
An evenly poised out contest is expected to be seen for the complete five days. While the Kiwis appear the stronger side on paper, England will be playing at their home surface which will also pretty much balance out the strengths and weaknesses. However, rain interruptions are also expected during the course of the game, which suggests that the match could end in a draw. However, if the bowlers dominate the game, one could well have a result despite the overs expected to be lost due to rain. The pro tip for Fantasy XI is to keep options to fine tune your XI after the toss and team news is out.
Zak Crawley/ Dominic Sibley, Haseeb Hameed/ Rory Burns, James Bracey (wk), Joe Root (C), Ollie Pope, Daniel Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton/ Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jack Leach, Olly Stone/ Mark Wood
Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Darryl Mitchell/ Colin De Grandhomme/ Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel/ Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry/ Tim Southee, Neil Wagner
Wicketkeepers: James Bracey, BJ Watling
Batsmen: Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls
All-rounders: Daniel Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Darryl Mitchell, Colin De Grandhomme
Bowlers: Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, James Anderson, Kyle Jamieson
Disclaimer: The fantasy tips and facts expressed within this article are personal opinion of the author. They do not reflect the views of SportsTiger. It is not a reflection of the actual points you might earn. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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