England vs New Zealand – A Brilliant Test Series
2 brilliant Tests, 10 days of scintillating cricket and 30 of the best sessions of Test Cricket you will see.
The England vs New Zealand tour was a pleasure to watch for any cricket fan. The overdose of the white ball due to the India-England-Australia tri-series, World Cup and then the IPL was countered by some beautiful cricket with the seaming red ball in proper white kits and lush green outfields. Both the tests went down to the last session on Day 5 and as Ravi Shastri likes to put it ‘All three results were possible’ till late into Day 4 in each test.
It’s a pity there was no third test and it’s even worse that New Zealand play such few Tests in a year. They are travelling to South Africa in a couple of months but only playing limited overs cricket.
With all the off-field controversies regarding Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss, it was wonderful to see Cook and his team put all things aside and focus on their cricket. The team was having fun on the field and debutant, Mark Wood, was a breath of fresh air in a usually serious and morose England team.
England have tried various opening partnerships in the past couple of years and with his century in the second test, Lyth has cemented his place in the squad for the initial Ashes Tests.
Ben Stokes was almost Flintoff-esque in the first test. Scores of 92 and 101 with the bat and bowling figures of 3/32 in the second innings was the all-round performance England so desperately needed and will continue to ask of Stokes in the Ashes.
Staying away from the ODI format has done Cook a world of good, he’s back to his patient and clinical best , leaving balls outside the off stump and negating the new ball well. Joe Root is averaging an incredible 94.84 in his last 17 innings.
The England team have found form at the right time and will hopefully challenge the Aussies for the Ashes.
Averaging close to 5 runs per over in the second test, New Zealand under Brendon McCullum and Mike Hesson are reinventing Test cricket with an attacking approach which is unseen in Cricket’s 100+ years of existence. Their batting, fielding and bowling have revolutionized the way test cricket is played and are hands down the most entertaining team to watch in International Cricket at the moment.
The Blackcaps have now gone seven Test-series’ unbeaten, a run which goes back to their series in Bangladesh in 2013.
Southee and Boult form one of the most exciting opening pairs of bowling in the game. They complement each other well with the left arm-right arm combination and constantly search for wickets.
The real test for the Blackcaps will be the home and away series against Australia later in the year. I sure hope their revolutionary cricket continues against the mighty Aussies.
Thank you to both the teams for an incredible series which continues to prove that there is no cricket like ‘Test Cricket’