England were reduced to 21/3 on the opening day of the Wellington Test but Harry Brook and Joe Root have steadied the ship. They haven’t been allowed to go full monty, as this England side usually prefers to do under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, but they’ve ensured against an implosion.
Matt Henry bowled the perfect line and length with the hard new rock, making Zac Crawley indecisive to draw a faint edge that Tom Blundell accepted gleefully behind the sticks. Shortly thereafter, a length delivery on the middle stump nipped away sharply after hitting the deck, squaring Ollie Pope up completely and taking his outside edge as Michael Bracewell made no mistake at third slip. It was a shaky start for the visitors and Ben Duckett’s departure made it worse as the southpaw fell to Tim Southee.
Earlier, there were no real surprises as far as the playing XIs were concerned. New Zealand made just a couple of changes, with Scott Kuggeleijn and Blair Tickner missing out as Will Young and Henry came into the side. The hosts have gone ahead and added a little more substance to their batting after what transpired at Mount Manganui.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell(w), Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee(c), Matt Henry, Neil Wagner
England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes(c), Ben Foakes(w), Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson
This is 𝗘𝗫𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗦𝗜𝗧𝗘 Harry Brook 😍
The young man only knows how to bat one way…. classily 😎#NZvENG pic.twitter.com/9WCcd04cKG
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) February 23, 2023