Cricket Betting: New Zealand no match for England's strength in depth

Alastair Cook looks to maintain an unbeaten series record as England captain

England's cricket team have arrived in Auckland ahead of their series against New Zealand. Richard O'Hagan takes a look at the make-up of the squads and at how the tour might pan out.

"England should be strong enough to overcome New Zealand in all three formats. The Black Caps won the limited overs series in South Africa, but it was against a side weakened at times by suspension and injury, neither of which are concerns for England."

If you want some insight into the craziness of the international cricket schedule, consider this: England have just played a one day series in India while New Zealand finished a similar series in South Africa on Friday. Now both have trekked all of the way down to the Land of the Long White Cloud to face each other. That's a lot of air miles.

There were few surprises in the squads announced by England. Stuart Broad is restored to full fitness and to all three squads. Graeme Swann, Jonny Bairstow and Jonathan Trott come back after their breaks from the one day game. Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel having both failed in the number six slot in the Test side, and Joe Root having been a success there, it was obvious who was going to be picked and who wasn't.

There are a couple of interesting tweaks, though. Chris Woakes replaces Tim Bresnan, whose Test bowling average since elbow surgery a year ago is now over 55 and who, it has been decided, will remain in England to have the problem looked at again. Craig Kieswetter finally loses hold of the one day wicket-keeping spot, not to Matt Prior but to Jos Buttler. New Zealand will see that as an area of potential weakness, because Buttler's record in both ODIs and T20Is is inferior to Kieswetter's in every way. 

The most interesting change came two days after the squads were announced, when left arm spinner Danny Briggs had to pull out of the tour with injury. Rather than bring in another specialist spinner, the selectors simply added Root to the T20 squad, relying upon his developing off-spin despite his failure to take a wicket in India. Spin will play less of a role in New Zealand but the extra batting strength that Root will also provide might make it hard for the likes of Bairstow to find their way back into the matchday 11.

Even with these changes England should be strong enough to overcome New Zealand in all three formats. The Black Caps won the limited overs series in South Africa, but it was against a side weakened at times by suspension and injury, neither of which are concerns for England. They may well scrape one of the three games, which makes a 2-1 England win at around 3.02/1 look the best bet. 

In the Test series they looked horribly out of their depth, will again be missing former captain Daniel Vettori and at 3.02/1 a 3-0 series win for England looks a good bet indeed.

Recommended Bet
Back England at around 3.02/1 to win the ODI series 2-1

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