Same old, same old
Some things never change. One day one at Lord's England bowled first and their two greatest wicket-takers of all time and a swing bowler plucked from county cricket made the ball talk. They then collapsed with the bat. Red-ball reset anyone?
Most of re-setting was done on the match-odds market. After knocking over New Zealand for 132 England were skeletal. At the close of play, having lost five wickets for eight, they were 1.705/7. New Zealand were as big as 21.0020/1 and are now 3.002/1. The draw is 12.50 from 2.407/5. Bet here.
If coach Brendon McCullum didn't know the scale of his task before taking the job, he does now. No amount of positive talk and back-slapping can hide dodgy techniques. Zak Crawley nicked off again, so did Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow was bowled again. Losing five wickets for eight runs is not in the
What happens next is a second-innings shootout. And there can be limited faith that England have what it takes from this position to win the game.
And that's because their batting remains deeply, deeply flawed. Matt Potts batting at No 8 in a team which has made 250 or more only six times in their previous 17.
The New Zealand triumvirate of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson, who looks as though he was born to bowl on the slope, is a mighty attack. And they may well expect victory if they can set England anything above 180. It's hard to disagree, particularly when the odds are so generous. Bet here.
Warning from the past for England
New Zealand's reputation, not to mention their record as the No 1 side in the world, has been built on reliability. They are the Steady Eddies who soared to new heights.
It is evident in how often they have bad days. Only three times in the last ten years have they batted first and been bowled out for under 175.
The previous occasion to day one at HQ was in 2018 in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan when they were scuttled for 153. Despite conceding a first-innings lead of 74 they produced a remarkable comeback victory by five runs.
The Indian Premier League, or other franchise leagues, can be guaranteed to tell us almost absolutely nowt about Test match cricket. There are rare occasions, however, when it is useful.
Kane Williamson's form in the IPL was so disastrous that it served as a pointer as to how he would go against the red ball. He are his recent scores: 8-9-0-4-47-5-16-3-7.
This was not a sequence caused by Williamson trying to blitz in the opening berth. He could barely get it off the square for Sunrisers, recording a truly extraordinary strike rate of 75 in the powerplay. By the end of the tournament he had lost any idea of where his off-stump was.
Until he gets time to spend hour after hour in the nets (after the first Test one suspects), Williamson is a short on his innings runs. Make a note of a sell at around 22.5 in the second dig.
Last 3 years top bats wins/matches in 2nd innings
De Grandhomme 1/5
On the win rates above Williamson is a poor value with Sportsbook to top in the second dig for New Zealand at a boosted 5/2. We note Tom Blundell's success and the quote of 7/1.
But we're still enamoured with big prices. Jamieson retains appeal at 40/1 considering how ball has dominated. Likewise Southee at 66 and even Boult at 100 because his batting is vastly improved. It's a statistical quirk that Boult has hit as many test sixes as Moeen Ali. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.