And welcome to coverage of the early start of day two of the second Test between New Zealand and England at Seddon Park.
Having won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, England would have expected a far better return on a humid day than three wickets and have, seemingly, given the hosts the initiative by virtue of Tom Latham’s century. The opener suffered a little from Stuart Broad syndrome yesterday, being called at various times by various commentators ‘Rod’ after his dad, and ‘Mark’, presumably after the pugnacious Sydney politician who has marched from left to right during a chequered career.
Not that he will mind what they call him as long as they remember his 11th Test century and some of the handsome strokes he played in compiling it. He begins this morning on 101 with Henry Nicholls for company and England’s five-seamer strategy shaved down to four fit frontline bowlers after Ben Stokes’ knee injury.
Chris Woakes was the pick of them, Stuart Broad continues his transformation into a runmiser but lacking luck and variety outside the left-hander’s off-stump from round the wicket, Jofra Archer took too long to banish the stiffness and find a scintilla of that slippery pace and Sam Curran, swinging the ball out of hand, looked pat-a-cake and unthreatening. Hopes that he’d watched Neil Wagner’s performance and heeded the lesson of changing the angle and lengths when nothing is happening were dashed going on the evidence. He remains a fine prospect but with Kookaburra in hand he is very much the fourth (or fifth) seamer.
Credit: Source link