New Zealand To Compound England’s Test Woes

Williamson will aim to put England to the sword

England were humiliated by New Zealand in the first Test of their series, eliminating the possibility of the Three Lions bouncing back from their Ashes’ hammering.

Joe Root’s men were inserted by the Black Caps for the first session of the day/night Test in Auckland. Ben Stokes returned to the side in place of James Vince in the only change from the side that played the majority of the series against Australia.

However, England capitulated at the hands of Trent Boult and Tim Southee. The tourists were reduced to 27-9 and were on course to record their lowest Test score. Only Craig Overton managed to put forward resistance and his unbeaten 33 managed to guide the Three Lions to a paltry 58.

Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls stuck the boot into Root’s side, scoring centuries on the same wicket that caused turmoil in the English batting ranks. New Zealand posted 427/8 before declaring, with the weather wiping out two days of the contest.

Despite the elements being against them, the home side still romped to a comfortable victory by an innings and 49 runs. Stokes, Root, Chris Woakes and Mark Stoneman offered resistance, but England’s display on the opening morning, ended their hopes of victory in the Test and the series.

Since beating South Africa at the start of 2016, England have won just one of their last 13 Test matches overseas. There’s pressure on Root and company to respond in Christchurch. We’ll now break down the betting odds for the contest.

New Zealand’s Top Batsman

Williamson will aim to put England to the sword

Credit: Getty Images

Whereas England’s batsmen made the pitch at Eden Park seem like a minefield, Williamson strode to the crease and immediately began to take control of the contest. The 27-year-old broke New Zealand’s record for most Test match centuries, surpassing team-mate Ross Taylor and Martin Crowe, with his composed innings. Williamson has taken his game to the next level since assuming the captaincy. Over the last year he has taken his average past the 50-run mark, proving his quality by scoring three hundreds against South Africa and England in his eight innings on home soil.

He changed the momentum of the Black Caps’ reply after Jeet Raval was removed by James Anderson. Williamson highlighted the value of batting at number three as he moved his side into a position of strength with his knock compared to Root’s struggles. The 27-year-old has never scored a century at Christchurch, boasting a high score of 97 at the ground, which came against Australia in 2016. Back him to lead the way for his team in the second Test at +275   with Betway.

England’s Top Batsman

Other than Overton, England were appalling in their first innings at Auckland. Almost all of the dismissals were due to a batsman driving hard at the ball, taking the edge or in the case of Root, Stokes and Moeen Ali, missing it completely. The Three Lions’ batting woes have been well documented and pressure is beginning to emerge on Trevor Bayliss and batting coach Mark Ramprakash. Other than Alastair Cook and Root, there are no guarantees in the line-up. Even Cook has been famine or feast over the past year.

England need a response at Christchurch and it might be in their best interests that it does not come from one of their senior players. Stoneman has passed fifty four times in his career and reached the milestone in the second innings at Eden Park. However, he has failed to press beyond the run 60-run mark, with a high score of 56. Pressure is building on the 30-year-old to justify his place in the side and he needs a three-figure score to prevent himself from being the latest opener to fall by the wayside. Back Stoneman to top score at odds of +550   with BetVictor.

New Zealand’s Top Bowler

Boult will be eyeing another strong outing

Credit: Getty Images

Boult was sensational in the opening session of the first Test. His line and length were perfect and he was rewarded with the best figures of his Test career – 6/32. The left-armer took the vital strikes of Cook and Root to reduce England to 8/2 and from that point on, Boult was able to dominate.

The 26-year-old has thrived on the amount of left-handers in the England line and was able to use conditions to his advantage to move the ball just enough to gain the edge. In his eight matches against the Three Lions Boult has claimed 41 wickets at an average of 22.09. Boult will be aiming to compound his side’s advantage and momentum at one of his favourite venues. He averaged 23.09 at the Hagley Oval, striking 22 times in four games. Boult is a solid bet to take at +200 with 888Sport to lead the wicket column.

England’s Top Bowler

Broad joined an elite club of bowlers when he took his 400th wicket when he removed Tom Latham. The 31-year-old has not been at his best over the past year as he has struggled for rhythm. However, Broad displayed signs of life, claiming figures of 3/78 in Auckland. He has a good record against New Zealand and Root will need his senior bowler to rise to the occasion.

England have been over reliant on Anderson due to the problems of the rest of the attack overseas. Woakes, Overton and Ali failed to make an impression with the ball, which could open a path for Mark Wood and Jack Leach to come into the fold. The Three Lions could do with one of Broad’s magic spells that he produces every now and again. It could provide the spark to get him into form for the rest of 2018. Back him to lead the way at odds of +350   with 888Sport.

Winner

England are all over the place at the moment in their Test match form, especially overseas. It will take time for the Three Lions to resolve their issues and may result in a change in the coaching staff ahead of the summer. New Zealand have momentum on their side and their bowlers will be itching to get stuck into the tourists’ batting line-up once again. With Williamson operating at the peak of his powers expect the Black Caps to record another victory at odds of +140   with Betway.

Tips Summary

New Zealand To Beat England 2nd Test
Friday 30th March 11:00 NZDT (Thursday 29th March 2018 23:00 BST)
Odds: +140

Kane Williamson To Be New Zealand’s Top Batsman
Friday 30th March 11:00 NZDT (Thursday 29th March 2018 23:00 BST)
Odds: +275

Trent Boult To Be New Zealand’s Top Bowler
Friday 30th March 11:00 NZDT (Thursday 29th March 2018 23:00 BST)
Odds: +200

Mark Stoneman To Be England’s Top Batsman
Friday 30th March 11:00 NZDT (Thursday 29th March 2018 23:00 BST)
Odds: +550

Stuart Broad To Be England’s Top Bowler
Friday 30th March 11:00 NZDT (Thursday 29th March 2018 23:00 BST)
Odds: +350