James Richardson previews the first Test of the 2021 English home summer as Joe Root and his charges take on the Black Caps.
The English home summer kicks off with the visit of the Black Caps of New Zealand.
Kane Williamson and company are also preparing for their World Test Championship final against India, staged at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
England vs New Zealand | 2 June – 6 June 2021 | Lord’s, London | 12:00
To Win Match
New Zealand 22/10
England begin the task of zeroing in on their ideal Ashes group with what is expected to be a challenging series against New Zealand.
Injury to Ben Foakes has drastically increased the chances of a Test debut for Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey.
Despite their advancing years, it appears that James Anderson and Stuart Broad will lead the English attack alongside Mark Wood with a battery of young quicks in reserve.
England have a chance to rejig their misfiring top order and nail down their best combinations against an in-form and experienced New Zealand bowling lineup.
New Zealand have won just one of the 17 Tests they have played at Lord’s in the 90-year history of matches against England.
Trent Boult has opted to spend time with his family in New Zealand on return from the Indian Premier League and will miss the series, but Williamson can still call on the number three and number six ranked Test bowlers in Neil Wagner and Tim Southee.
The Black Caps also have a brilliant prospect in pace bowling allrounder Kyle Jamieson who has taken 36 wickets in his first six Tests.
Williamson was in sublime form in New Zealand’s home summer, which sees him enter the series as the number one Test batsman, and he can expect plenty of aid from the likes of Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham.
Verdict: New Zealand 22/10
The visitors come with the more established squad and should fancy themselves.