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England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test Preview: Kiwis likely to come back strongly after atypical Lord's outing

New Zealanders' Ajaz Patel celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of FCC XI's Ryan Patel
New Zealanders' Ajaz Patel celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of FCC XI's Ryan Patel
©Action Images via Reuters

There is a good chance of both teams stepping out at Trent Bridge with an all-pace attack after Matt Parkinson and Ajaz Patel failed to make a mark at Lord's.

LIVE SCORES - England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test:

New Zealand still the better side

Hold your horses before heralding this as the dawn of a new era in English cricket and the stamp of new head coach Brendon Mccullum and captain Ben Stokes on the team.

England might have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but New Zealand still appear to be the better side between the two. The World Test Champions made a lot of unforced errors in the first test match and part of the reason might be due to the lack of practice.

Rusty NZ expected to bounce back

Several members of the team were rusty, hardly having had the right preparation for the start of the summer with the likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Devon Conway and Darryl Mitchell landing in England from the IPL just days before the beginning of the series. 

England had the advantage of bowling first at Lord's, on a surface that had plenty in it for the new ball bowlers and produced a brilliant spell of pace bowling on the morning of day 3 to pull things in their favor.

However, the team would themselves know that they are nowhere close to being a finished product. 

Time to give Overton the nod

With Jack Leach likely to be unavailable for this test match after showing concussion symptoms and Matthew Parkinson looking short of his depth in his debut test match, England are expected to go with an all-pace attack.

They will most likely include Craig Overton in place of Parkinson to provide themselves with an extra pace option along with some much-needed batting depth as they can not simply have Matty Potts batting at number 8.

New Zealand will have to make a forced change. It is underrated how essential Colin de Grandhomme is for the New Zealand test side. Not only does he provide them with brilliant counter attacking innings when the chips are down but the control and the crucial wickets he provides with the ball is worth its weight in gold.

In fact, he is the kryptonite to Joe Root and one doubts if he had not gone down with injury, Root would have been able to strike his 26th test century.

Wagner for Patel, Nicholls for de Grandhomme?

The Kiwis will try to convert this adversity into opportunity as they will most likely replace Ajaz Patel with either Matt Henry or Neil Wagner and bring in Henry Nichols in place of Colin de Grandhomme.

Picking Wagner seems to be the way to go for the Kiwis despite Matt Henry showing his worth every time he is given an opportunity. With the likes of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson perfectly capable of making full use of any swing on offer, the team needs a point of difference like Wagner who can make things work when there is not a lot of assistance either in the air or off the surface.

And, anyone who has seen enough test cricket knows that there are passages of play in every test match which require a bowler like Wagner to break it open. As England must have realised at times with the absence of the likes of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer at Lord's.

Predicted Playing XIs

New Zealand
- Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner

England - Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root , Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, James Anderson


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