Should England have been slightly more adventurous with their bowling selections?
Well with the advantage of hindsight the answer to that is almost definitely yes with the fact that New Zealand managed to draw the match and didn’t lose a wicket on the shortened final day. Not to mention that the hosts bowling attack at the Bay Oval took over twice as many wickets as England’s who struggled to adapt to conditions. The reasons to try out the raw pace of Mahmood or the leg-spin of Parkinson were stacking up then but who do England decide to go with, Chris Woakes and no spinner.
Woakes is a player with an incredibly modest overseas record with the kookaburra ball and someone who England knows all about. In the future their might be very limited opportunities to blood young players so will England regret this opportunity? For Parkinson he will probably make his debut in Sri Lanka in the spring and Mahmood may get an opportunity in South Africa over the festive period or back in the English summer so all may not be lost yet.
Archer is still learning with Kookaburra ball.
For someone with the natural ability of Archer his low wicket tally across the two test matches will come as a massive disappointment. He shouldn’t get to downbeat however as very few players have gone abroad to very alien conditions and nailed it first time. England over the next two years do need to learn how to best utilise his ability and figure out how best to use him to avoid the criticism they received in the first match.
The pitches in New Zealand were as slow as anything around the world, fortunately senior bowler Stuart Broad was on hand to point out that there should be more pace and bounce in countries like South Africa and Australia. I’m sure Jofra Archer will show the same quality overseas that that he showed back in the English summer in the coming tours.
Rory Burns looks like he’s nailed down one of the opening positions.
After a productive Ashes series back in England where Burns managed to score his maiden international hundred the winter was always going to be a time where the Surrey man would be looking to nail down his England career. With a couple of starts in the first test match and putting the second innings dismissal to one side Burns looked in good touch and on another flat pitch in Hamilton his first innings century looked inevitable.
Not since Alastair Cook way back in 2006 has an opening batsmen been able to fix his position at the top of the order so England will be heavily relived that finally someone has been able to break the dry spell. Having spent so long looking for a partner for Cook it may now seem the search has changed to a partner for Burns.
Just as a side note on the issue of Burns is if results this winter don’t go Joe Root’s way watch out for the clamour for Burns to be made captain. With his experience of being County Championship winning captain he’s sure to be the next cab of the rank.
New Zealand was well worth the 1-0 scoreline.
Finally New Zealand like in last week’s post look like a well oiled team in their home conditions. Their batsmen appreciate the advantage of first innings runs and the bowlers bowl aggressive wicket taking lengths.
Going to Australia will be a big test as the Aussies don’t often loose in their home conditions but The Kiwi’s should be tougher opposition then Pakistan were in the recent series. The outcome of the series may come down to how affective Williamson and Taylor are with the bat for New Zealand and whether they can get them up to decent first innings scores. Only time will tell but it should be a cracking series hopefully on some decent wickets for test match cricket.