Jofra Archer can be Chris Silverwood's biggest weapon on flat pitch for 1st Test: New Zealand vs England

1st Test: New Zealand vs England: Lions Ready to Roar Again

New Zealand vs England

Joe Root and his Three Lions have arrived down under for the 1st Test: New Zealand vs England, and this clash, at Mount Maunganui, promises to be a belter.

Over the last decade, these two nations have provided some of the world’s best players and teams in all three forms of the game. The Black Caps are currently second in the ICC Test rankings with England in third, and while home advantage always counts for something, I like the look of this England team in particular.

But there’s the small matter of a revenge mission the Black Cats are on after they were denied an ODI World Cup win in summer, by a Super Over loss to England.


Talking Points

It’s a two-match series, so win the first and you’re more than halfway there. Take a look at the odds here at SBOBET, and it’s hard to split the teams, so let’s run the rule over the key players who might just make a difference.

New Zealand

The big New Zealand vs England news in the run-up to the First Test is that the Black Caps can welcome back Kane Williamson after the skipper recovered from a hip injury. He’s the third-ranked batsman in the world behind the greats Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, and his unorthodox style combined with the coolest of heads makes him the man for the big occasions. His reading of the game and handling of his players makes him one of the most astute captains in the game.

New Zealand are likely to start with a three-pronged attack of pace bowlers spearheaded by Trent Boult. The second-best bowler in the world in the ODI game, and sixth-best in the five-day format, Boult has been the standout performer with the ball in Williamson’s teams. His unerring accuracy, brilliant use of the seam and lively pace make him the go-to guy when the Black Cats need a wicket or control.

England fans travelling with the Barmy Army will have painful memories of Auckland in 2018 when Boult and Tim Southee blew the visitors’ batting line-up away for a meagre 58 runs.

Southee and Neil Wagner are likely to make up the threesome, but we could see speed merchant Lockie Ferguson at some point this series. He took 21 wickets during the summer World Cup and looks ready to step up to the five-day game.

Trent Boult set for 1st Test: New Zealand vs England return

New Zealand’s Trent Boult is the leading wicket-taker in international cricket at Mount Maunganui


The Barmy Army has a new all-round hero the likes we haven’t seen since Ian Botham.

Durham swashbuckler Ben Stokes is the real deal. In an incredible summer, Stokes was man-of-the-match in the ODI World Cup final, scoring 84 not-out to take the match to Super Over

Then in August, he hit 135 not out as England chased down a record 359 to win the third Ashes Test against Australia. With the match seemingly lost, and with the bespectacled Jack Leach the last man standing at the other end, Stokes smashed the Aussies all around the ground. One-shot, a reverse sweep for six, had to be seen to be believed.

England have brought the exciting Dom Sibley in to open alongside Rory Burns, and the middle order containing skipper Joe Root, Stokes and Jos Buttler is the most explosive in the world.

Jofra Archer

Stokes achievements over the summer weren’t dampened by England’s failure to win the Ashes, drawing the series after five pulsating games with some fascinating battles; none more so than that one between Aussie skipper Steve Smith and England paceman Jofra Archer.

Bowling at express pace and with serious hostility Archer hit Smith on the helmet in the second test and that put him out of the third.

In England’s final warm-up before the Test Series starts, Archer put in a fearsome seven-over spell, his third of the day, on a flat pitch. At an average speed of around 90mph, he had the New Zealand A batsmen, who had looked comfortable all day, hopping around frantically. He hit Hamish Rutherford on the head and he had to retire with concussion, and New Zealand century-maker Glenn Phillips said: “That’s the quickest I’ve faced. He got my forearm and nearly took my head off.”



England and New Zealand clashed in the cricket highlight of 2019 as the Three Lions won a dramatic ODI World Cup Final with a Super Over bowled by Archer.

And the Three Lions have just come out on top in a thrilling five-match T20 series, winning the decider, again with a Super Over.

But England have only won one Test Series in New Zealand since the turn of the century, in 2008, and they have failed to win a Test on the last two visits, losing 1-0 in 2018 and drawing all three in 2013.


Betting Tip

New Zealand vs EnglandEngland 1X2 @ 2.26
November 21-25, 06:00 (GMT+8)

These are two such evenly matched teams that I could go either way here.

The latest New Zealand vs England betting odds point to a great game; with New Zealand at 2.10 and England at 2.26 while the draw is available at 4.50.

I’m going to take the slightly better offer on England.

New Zealand will have to be at their best in the field. They were uncharacteristically sloppy at times against Sri Lanka in summer, and if Stokes and co get going they won’t get away with anything under par. England looked well balanced in the recent warm-up game, Buttler scoring a ton, and in Archer, they have yet more star quality.

?? = €20 (Highly confident)?? = €10 (CONFIDENT)?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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