England lose control
If a team starts day one of a Test match as 2.226/5 favourites, wins the toss, bowls and ends it almost five points bigger at 7.006/1 it's fair to say that they've not had a great day.
Ben Stokes will be disappointed that there were only 0.7 degrees of spin available on the first morning. And we have always said, if the ball doesn't bend for England they look ordinary.
It allowed New Zealand to show their class. Tom Latham and Will Young found form to set up a platform which allowed the middle-order batters to score freely.
And what is perhaps most concerning for Stokes is the absence of control (just before the second new ball was taken New Zealand were scoring at just shy of four an over). They may need another 'team hat-trick', or similar, to avoid being under tremendous pressure because of the fast rate of scoring.
Jack Leach will come under scrutiny. His economy was close to four an over. That's nowhere near good enough for your premier spinner. It wasn't the full-on assault from the batters that we saw in Australia, more of all-too-easy milking as the Kiwis picked off runs at will.
If we learnt anything from day one, we learnt nothing. That is unless you were fooled by England performance in the first Test.
This was very much a revert-to-type performance. England looked devoid of ideas because of the lack of a genuine pace bowler to hurry batters or to get it up near their throat. There were also chances going begging. England missed four of them.
Now all England need to do is bat with customary chaos and the status quo will be in force. Those who backed the Kiwis pre-toss at 2.789/5, they are sitting pretty now at 1.9420/21. Bet the match odds here
Batters under the pump
England need to bat out of their skins. Their record of scores of more than 350 in recent times is not good.
In the last three years, England have managed five totals under that parameter from 18 innings. Their average total since 2021 is 288. First-innings deficit incoming.
Nor is there much when perusing previous records at the venue. In second innings at Trent Bridge they were rolled for 161 in 2018 against India and 205 the previous year against South Africa. They lost both games. India, in second dig last summer, posted 278.
The innings runs market, however, is convinced this is a flat track. You can lay England for 275 or more at 1.491/2. That's a thin price indeed about a side with chronic and long-established batting issues. Bet the market here.
There is evidence from the County Championship that batting is easier. The three scores in second-innings this term are: 379-256-358.
It could mean that the draw is in play. With easy runs or a strong partnership it will surely head south quickly. England are capable of that. Just bear in mind that they can also head south quickly.
Top England bat wins/matches last 3 years
Top NZ bowler wins/matches
Southee 10 2t/30
Wagner 7 2t/28
Jamieson 4 2t/12
(t = ties)
Pray for Pope
We've had a gamble on Ollie Pope at 6/1 for top England bat in their first-innings. We've not seen anything from the track to change our mind.
Likewise Kyle Jamieson for top New Zealand bowler. If there continues to be a lack of swing, Jamieson's ability to go back of a length, or roughhouse tactics, gives him an edge. Sportsbook currently go 3/1. It could well be the best wager of day two.
Joe Root has been boosted to 21/10 for top England bat. Stokes is 4/1. Zak Crawley, like Pope, is a bet on win rate at 5s. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.