England lately have been very poor at test match cricket, a stat of a win in 17 test matches speaks for itself. England now start fresh as they enter a new era with Ben Stokes as captain, Rob Key as managing director and Brendon McCullum as the side’s head coach. The newly appointed men yesterday announced their first team for the first couple test matches v New Zealand.
ENGLAND’S SQUAD FOR FIRST TWO TEST’S V NEW ZEALAND :
Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Less, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Joe Root.
Seasoned pro duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad are back in the side after being left out from the Caribbean tour, they both are doing well in the County Cricket and also have enough cricket under their legs to be physically fit when they turn up to Lord’s on 2nd of June. With several injuries in the bowling camp it’s very likely that we see both Anderson and Broad hunting as a pair. Harry Brook, a very exciting batter with real positive stroke play from Yorkshire and a pacer from Durham, Matthew Potts are the ones who’ve received their maiden calls for international appearances in red ball cricket.
Harry Brook’s recent touch has looked very pleasing, he’s scored runs for fun. In just 8 innings, he’s scored 758 runs at an average just above 150 in this summer edition of County Cricket. With the make up the English side has, it’ll be fair to say he’ll have to wait for an opportunity, unless there’s an injury in the batting unit or someone who’s coming from the Indian Premier League (IPL) is rested only then he’ll have his case advance and walk in straight into the starting XI.
Matthew Potts, he’s having a season to remember. The tall right arm quick is good at questioning the batters, hits the hard length frequently and has the batter guessing. He in this seasons is the leading wicket taker with 35 scalps and a figure of 7-40 being the best. With many pacers missing out on injuries it’s very likely that we see Potts being presented with this debut test cap at Lord’s.
There are a few slots where England will have to make brave calls, with Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes set to bat at 4, 5 and 6 respectively, the no. 3 slot is left vacant that’ll likely have Ollie Pope in. Pope has been short of runs in international cricket and has never batted at the no.3 position, be it County Cricket or international, but might have to do so to save his test career and it’s a tuff one at no. 3. Opener, Zak Crawley’s career has been on two extremes with nothing in middle in terms of runs, it either has been big test runs or telephone digits. ECB rightly continue to invest in Crawley and Pope and it’s high time they repay the trust shown with consistent runs in the top order for England, a tuff ask yes, because it’ll have to come against a top quality New Zealand attack, but if someone has to be trusted then why not Crawley and Pope who’ve shown snippets of their real potential.
England will play New Zealand at Lord’s on 2nd of June, then at Trent Bridge on 10th of June before their final test of the series at Headingley on 23rd of June that’ll hopefully be a series decider to not let the excitement drop.