New Zealand in England, 2 Test Series, 2021
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Date: 10 June-13 June, 2021
RR: 3.78 | New Zealand beat England by 8 wickets
Right then. That is all we have for this second Test and this series between England and New Zealand. Our post-match coverage seemed to have lasted longer than the play on Day 4. Hope you enjoyed our coverage and we look forward to your company again for future. There is the World Test Championship final of course, but there are other international games as well, like South Africa's tour of the Caribbean. Please do check tabs and keep yourself up-to-date with all the action. Until next time, ADOIS! TAKE CARE!
England, on the other hand, continue to seek answers to their batting debacles. They were relying too much on Joe Root and that hurt them in India and it has hurt them here as well. The problem for them is, there is not much red-ball cricket for them either internationally or at domestic level in the lead-up to the first Test against India, so their players have got to sharpen their skills by playing white-ball cricket. They need to find batsmen who can spend some time in the middle and some bowlers who have the patience to keep trying and trying to find the edge. A difficult process but not impossible.
The Kiwis gets across to lift the trophy. A significant moment for them, which comes right after they were crowned as the number 1 Test team in the world. New Zealand look well and truly tuned up for the World Test Championship final, with good selection headaches. Remember, there were 6 changes for this Test and yet they won. Who would be left out for that final? Batting looks good, catching is good and bowling has always been good. Nice place to be in.
Victorious New Zealand captain, Tom Latham, calls this as a complete team performance. Starting from coming back after a tough opening session, then fighting hard with the bat and eventually winning the game. Winning in spite of 6 changes? This is the question asked and Latham responds by saying that most of the guys coming in were experienced and everyone adapted really well. Humbly says that it is an honour to lead the team and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Calls the track a beauty and wants to bat on it everytime. Wants to enjoy this moment as he understands the importance of a side winning a Test series in a country after 22 years. Stresses the importance for every Kiwi here and also back in New Zealand.
England skipper, JOE ROOT, admits that one bad session cost them the series. Bluntly says that kind of batting is not acceptable but praises New Zealand for bowling well. Stresses that it is a learning experience and calls it as more mental than technical, as to understanding how to play in difficult scenarios. On the lack of domestic games before the home summer, Root does not want to look at excuses and honestly says that they did not play good cricket as compared to New Zealand. Stresses that one needs to manage challenges which come in every series and every level. Does not feel that England could have been more aggressive on the final day at Lord's and gone for a win, stating that time was just too short. On this period now before their next Test, Root wants his batsmen to go back to domestic cricket and score runs and bowlers to pick wickets and then come back fresh against India. Wants his side to grab every opportunity that comes its way. Thanks the crowd for their everlasting support and understands that it is disappointing that they could not see a silverware won by their team.
DEVON CONWAY HAS BEEN NAMED AS NEW ZEALAND'S PLAYER OF THE SERIES (Nominated by England's coach). Smiles on being asked whether he dreamed that this is the way his debut Test series would go. Adds that this is a special feeling which needs time to sink in and is happy to be part of a side which has won its first series in England since 1999. Admits that Test cricket is a bigger challenge than domestic First-class cricket, but the process established in domestic cricket helped him. Does not speak too much of playing any particular shot to bring up his century and double century and stresses that he just plays each ball on its merit. Details that he played the same pull shot at Lord's and got a boundary, but here, holed out. Admits that he wanted to keep the ball along the ground but failed. Is happy to have overcome the challenges in the series and ends by saying that he totally enjoyed it.
RORY BURNS HAS BEEN NAMED AS ENGLAND'S PLAYER OF THE SERIES (Nominated by New Zealand's coach). On a personal front, Burns says that it is nice to get back into the side and score some runs. Looking at the series, Rory says that new Zealand bowled really well but he trusted his defense and technique and just focussed there. Believes that there is a long time before the next Test and the team can easily bounce back.
MATT HENRY HAS BEEN NAMED AS THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. He is all smiles. Is happy to have finished the series on a high and thanks the crowd for turning up in large numbers. Admits that the team revelled in the atmosphere. On his own performance, he puts it down to experience of playing on different surfaces and adapting accordingly. On this wicket, Henry says that it seemed to get quicker from Day 2 but otherwise was a very good one to bat on, so the plan was to keep it tight and try and pick wickets. On his work ethic, Matt says that New Zealand's Test squad is very strong, so it is not going to be often that he is going to be a part of the playing XI. Hence he wants to make the most of every match that he plays.
... THE PRESENTATION ...
Issues for England. Batting, yes, by and large. They don't have Stokes and Buttler playing, which might be one of the reasons for this debacle but that top 6 is a concern, save aside Rory Burns. Joe Root looks way out of form. The bowling has issues too, even though they might say Jofra Archer isn't playing, but apart from Stuart Broad, no one actually stood out consistently. Ollie Robinson had an impact at Lord's and he was sorely missed here. Finally, the catching. England had plenty of opportunities to peg New Zealand back. First, they dropped Will Young early and then Tom Blundell as well. Both came back to bite them very hard. Plenty of hard work to be done before they begin their next Test in August against India. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
The visitors kept striking at regular intervals to keep England at a score of 303, thanks to a wonderful joint performance by Trent Boult and Matt Henry. And then, when it was their turn to bat, they had three batsmen scoring 80s and the lower order wagging a bit, to post a total almost close to 400. That momentum helped them as they just ran through a insipid batting lineup of England in the third innings, with batsmen just not knowing whether to attack or defend. It was the duo of Henry and Wagner this time, which ensured that New Zealand did not have too much to chase.
Things were not quite in New Zealand's favour at the start of this Test. They first had BJ Watling ruled out and then skipper Kane Williamson sit out. And when the line-ups were announced at the toss, my word, there were as many as 6 changes! But while it did seem to affect them for a brief period as England rollicked away to 67/0 at Lunch on Day 1, they came back strongly. Boy and since then, it has been their Test match.
Just the third Test series win for New Zealand in England. 1986, 1999 and now, in 2021. This is a golden age for New Zealand cricket and they might as well make the most of it. They have won this Test with a day and a half to spare, which shows their dominance. They are well and truly tuned up for the World Test Championship final.
Ross Taylor comes in at number 4, for the finishing duties. Meanwhile, Mark Wood comes on for a short burst. 25-3-85-2 in the first dig.
First bowling change of the innings. Olly Stone it will be. 24-5-92-2 in the first innings.
Will Young walks in at number 3, replacing Devon Conway.
Stuart Broad to bowl from the other end.