Date: June 2 – June 6
Time: 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Lord’s, London
The Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era is set to kick start for England as they will take on New Zealand on June 2 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The series comprises three matches, with the next two games at the Trent Bridge and Headingly, respectively. England Cricket Board has made a number of changes in their camp following a poor performance in the previous years and will hope to get back to winning ways under the new leadership.
The pitch at iconic Lords is expected to be balanced and would provide a lot for bowlers and batters. Bowlers are expected to get early movement and can cash in opportunity in the early hours of the game. If batters apply their plans and keep their composure for a while, the pitch will become batting friendly, and we can expect a good score on board.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum will look to guide his boys against his own country. McCullum has been appointed head coach of England’s red-ball team. The Englishmen have called back experienced duo of Stuart Broad and James Anderson to bolster their pace attack, and the team will hope for better performance from both.
The newly-appointed skipper earlier said that he wants star batter Joe Root to bat at number 4 instead of 3, and it will be interesting to see where Root bats in the series opener.
The World Test Champions will take the guard under the leadership of Kane Williamson. Kiwis toured England in 2021 and won the two-match Test series by a 1-0 margin. The Kiwis will miss the services of Trent Boult and Henry Nicholls for the first Test. However, the Kane Williamson-led side looks more balanced and has a perfect blend of experience and youth. Tom Latham and Devon Conway will be responsible for douse the pace attack of experienced duo Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, James Anderson
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Will Young, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel
New Zealand looks more balanced side on paper, and if they execute their plans well, Kiwis have a golden opportunity to kick-start the series in style. New Zealand will be clear favorites for the first match of the two-match Test series.