ENG vs NZ 1st Test Dream11 Prediction Possible Playing 11 Pitch Report | ENG vs NZ 1st Test Dream11 Prediction Today | England vs New Zealand 1st Test Key Players | Lord’s Pitch Report
Test cricket is back. And back with a bang at the home of cricket, with fans set to attend to mark the start of England’s huge home summer.
Factors such as England’s depletion (no Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler or Jofra Archer) and that this series is not part of the World Test Championship might reduce this series’ attractiveness to some, but it is still Test cricket after all. Test cricket is its own story. It is a number of battles within a battle. And, of course, England has played home to some cracking and memorable Test matches over the past couple of years. This series, which is crucial for a number of England batsmen, is a chance to build confidence and momentum.
For New Zealand, these two Tests preceed the World Test Championship Final against India. However, not only is this great preparation for that match, but the Black Caps have the chance to achieve their first Test series win in England since 1999. They have shot up the rankings due to consistent performances in their own backyard, but this is an opportunity to test themselves in overseas conditions where question marks still remain.
Trent Boult is unavailable, but New Zealand’s attack is still more than capable of causing problems to a fragile England batting lineup. They will hold hope in the fact that England have made scratchy starts to home Test series since the 2019 World Cup, including 85 all-out vs Ireland, first Test defeat to Australia and first Test defeat to West Indies. However, led by Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, the Black Caps must hold their own with the bat against a good England attack. A good battle awaits.
Key Players to Watch/Key Stats
- Joe Root is undoubtedly the key man for England with the bat. He had a superb start to the year in Sri Lanka and India, with a total of 794 runs at an average of 66.16 so far in 2021.
- Against New Zealand, Root has scored 495 runs at an average of 44.75, including a double century in his last Test against them albeit on a flatter pitch. At Lord’s, Root has the eighth most Test runs of any player in history (1,189, avg. 47.56).
- This series is a good chance for Zak Crawley to nail down the number three position. He hasn’t had a strong County campaign so far (368 runs, avg. 33.45), but showed great signs in England last year against Pakistan where he scored a double ton.
- A big series also for Rory Burns and Ollie Pope. Both are averaging above 65 in the 2021 County Championship, and they’ll be hoping that form translates into the Test arena.
- No bowler has more wickets than James Anderson at Lord’s. England’s leading Test wicket-taker has taken 103 wickets on this ground at a superb average of 23.89. Also, he has 60 scalps vs New Zealand at an average of 26.89. In England, the average drops to 22.26 with 34 wickets in seven Tests.
- Stuart Broad also loves bowling at Lord’s. In fact, he is second only to Anderson on this ground with 94 wickets at 27.06. Also, he has 66 wickets at 27.18 vs New Zealand – the most of any current bowler in ENG-NZ Tests.
- Is Ollie Robinson a must-pick for England? The seamer has been in superb form, with 29 wickets in five matches at an average of 14.72. Craig Overton is also in unbelievable form, with 36 scalps in six matches at 12.86.
- Can Kane Williamson get the better of Joe Root and England? The Black Caps skipper averages just 30 in England, but it must be noted that he’s only played four Tests in the country. The last of his four Tests was back in 2015, and Williamson has gone from strength-to-strength since.
- Williamson has enjoyed success at Lord’s, with his century in England scored on this ground. Against England overall, he has scored 743 runs at an average of 43.70.
- Ross Taylor has a solid record against England. In England, he has scored 523 runs in seven Tests at an average of 40.23. Overall, he has scored 1,145 runs at 40.89 against them. No other current NZ player has more runs against England than Taylor.
- Tom Latham has scored 146 runs at 36.50 in England and 386 runs at 36.80 vs England overall. Will he have a big first Test and build on these numbers? New Zealand will be hoping so.
- BJ Watling will retire after the WTC Final. He averages 56.80 in three Tests in England and 55.57 in 10 Tests vs England overall.
- Tim Southee will lead the NZ attack in the absence of Trent Boult. His battle with Root will be a great watch. He averages 32.76 with the ball in 15 Tests vs England, and 34.40 in five Tests in England. Can he improve on these numbers?
- How will Kyle Jamieson fare with the ball in his first overseas Test? He has been incredible in Test cricket so far, with 36 wickets in six Tests at an average of 13.27. Also, Jamieson provides great batting value, with 226 runs at an average of 56.60.
- Neil Wagner produced incredible bowling performances on flat pitches vs England in New Zealand in 2019. His 37 wickets against England come at an average of 30.02, but we all know his wicket-taking ability against good players. He hasn’t played a Test in England since 2013, where he took seven wickets at 36.28.
Stats and Facts
- The last time these two teams faced off in a Test series in England was in 2015. The series finished level at 1-1.
- Stuart Broad has taken figures of 1/64, 7/44, 3/77 and 3/50 across the 2013 and 2015 Lord’s Tests vs New Zealand.
- Rory Burns (23 Tests) is the second-most experienced player in England’s top seven, behind Joe Root.
- James Anderson is eight wickets away from 1,000 First Class scalps.
- New Zealand have not won a Test series in England since their 2-1 victory in 1999.
Possible Playing 11
England could look to play four seam bowlers on a Lord’s pitch that is expected to have some grass cover. If they play Leach, then Ollie Robinson is expected to play over Craig Overton, according to reports.
England: 1. Rory Burns, 2. Dom Sibley, 3. Zak Crawley, 4. Joe Root (c), 5. Ollie Pope, 6. Dan Lawrence, 7. James Bracey (wk), 8. Ollie Robinson, 9. Craig Overton/Jack Leach, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson
Devon Conway will make his Test debut at the top of the order, partnering Tom Latham. Colin de Grandhomme is fit again and could win the race for the seam-bowling all-rounder spot against Daryl Mitchell.
New Zealand: 1. Tom Latham, 2. Devon Conway, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling (wk), 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Mitchell Santner/Matt Henry, 9. Kyle Jamieson, 10. Tim Southee, 11. Neil Wagner
Lord’s Pitch Report and Weather
Lord’s has been the most prolific ground in terms of wickets in the County Championship. However, much of that is owed to Middlesex’s batting struggles. In terms of this track, there was a green tinge on the eve of the match, with the grass cut shorter. Expect there to be movement for the bowlers on day one before the pitch becomes a good one for batting throughout the Test as the weather forecast looks warm and sunny for most of the match.
England have tended to start slowly in home Test campaigns in recent times. For that reason, New Zealand might very well grab a win here to take a 1-0 series lead. Should be an interesting match.