The big news from England’s warm-up piss-take of a match against a New Zealand XI is that they’re thinking of having Retired Hurt open the bowling. Accounting for three batsmen, he was England’s most successful bowler after Jimmy Anderson, who took 4-56.
Root deployed just the nine bowlers and even fewer of them actually opened. Mark Wood got three overs with the brand new ball and frankly, England may as well persist in doing that.
We’re aware that opening the bowling is meant to be some huge great deal and that making Stuart Broad come on first-change would put his mental health at grave risk – but if his replacement’s only going to bowl a three-over spell, as Wood would, it isn’t necessarily a monumental disadvantage in any real meaningful sense.
Fresh from his new and exciting experience, Wood also had some helpful advice for the Hamilton groundsman: “I think they should burn that top end, so I don’t have to bowl from there any more.”