New Zealand vs England – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is New Zealand vs England taking place? Friday, November 20th (10pm UK / 11am NZ)

Where is New Zealand vs England taking place? Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

What is the expected weather for New Zealand vs England? 20c with cloud and scattered rain showers throughout the five days which may affect play

What channel is New Zealand vs England on? This match will be televised live on Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream New Zealand vs England? This match can be streamed live on the Sky Go app

Where can I get tickets for New Zealand vs England? Tickets details for this match can be found here!

LAST MEETING
Match drawn

THE TEAM NEWS

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand come into this two-match Test series against England with half an eye on their upcoming three-match series against neighbours Australia, as unlike these two Test matches with England, those do count towards the inaugural Test Championship.
  • They will nevertheless want to do well against England and with five Test matches in the next six weeks, that will mean they will be forced to rotate significantly especially among their bowlers as Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry are expected to switch in to allow regular Test trio Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner to rest on occasion.
  • After being rested for the five T20 international matches, captain Kane Williamson should be able to play despite a nagging hip injury which is hampering him, but the star batsmen will likely play through any pain with the injury not affecting him while batting and he will be key as always to their hopes.

ENGLAND

  • England return to Test action for the first time since the Ashes in the summer and they have had two tour matches to prepare for this opening match in Mount Maunganui with the batting looking particularly strong.
  • Similar to the T20 squad, they have handed opportunities to some younger talents as Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley are both vying for a start having enjoyed good seasons in the County Championship, and after both hit centuries in the opening tour match, it looks likely that Sibley at least will be handed a Test debut and open alongside Rory Burns.
  • Joe Denly is recovering well from the ankle problem that ruled him out of the T20 matches and looks set to be fit enough to play at number three, which means Jonny Bairstow will likely be allowed to return home, while Sam Curran and Chris Woakes are vying for the fourth and final spot in the bowling attack with the left-arm option in Curran likely to be favoured.

THE PREDICTION

There is little to separate these two teams coming into this game and as is always the case, much will depend on how quickly the tourists can adapt to conditions in New Zealand. The likelihood is that conditions will not be that dissimilar to those in England although the fundamental difference will be the use of the Kookaburra ball rather than the Dukes. If batsmen can get through some overs and get themselves in, then they will have opportunities to score heavily. These two teams had a two-match Test series in March 2018 and England started that one disastrously as they were bowled out for just 58 in the first innings of the first Test in Auckland. They adapted quickly and did well after that, but they struggled at the very beginning which ultimately lost them the series, so that could well work in the Blackcaps' favour in this first Test.

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