Token second Test preview

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< 1 minute read

Tomorrow England meet New Zealand in the second Test at Headingley. The home team will be looking to take a 2-0 series win, while the tourists will be looking to tie the series 1-1. England will settle for a draw and a 1-0 series result, but would prefer to win.

Despite winning the first Test, England did several things badly and will be looking to do those things better while simultenously maintaining standards or improving when it comes to the things they did well.

The same applies to New Zealand, only they will be looking to make far greater improvements. When you consider the outcome of the last Test, they could conceivably play significantly better and yet still lose if England can improve to the same degree.

Set against that is the fact that New Zealand could play exactly the same as in the first Test and England could play worse, in which case we might get a different result. However, the Kiwis won’t want to have to rely on that.

Players who are injured will be replaced by different players, but there may also be other changes. Some players are more likely to be dropped than others and that likelihood is often dependent on the quality and form of the players who would most likely replace them.

Both teams will look to play well early on and will also be keen to continue playing well should they achieve that. If either side makes a poor start, they will hope that they can come back from that and will endeavour to do so.

It might rain a bit.


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  1. Magnificent analysis. It put me in mind of the third test back in that memorable summer of ’78, when the home team played the tourists in that way that they did back then. What goes around comes around, I guess.

    1. Extremely well spotted, Bert. The third test in 1978 was indeed England v New Zealand at Lord’s and the Kiwis collapsed in the second innings to 67 all out – the same as the score should have been on Sunday just gone, had the sub taken that final catch rather than dropping the catch and executing the run out after one additional run had been taken, to make the score 68.

      The 1978 Kiwi second innings collapse took place between the Saturday evening and the Monday (there was a rest day on Sunday back then).

      It was indeed a hugely memorable time.

      I was camping with friends on the Bolton Abbey Estate near Barden Bridge for most of that match and oblivious to the cricket. My diary suggests that I was having the time of my life.

      I returned home on the Sunday and made the following telling entry in my diary for that Monday, when test victory was secured by England and history thus made – I reproduce the day’s entry in full:

      “Birthday. Went to China Garden for lunch. Very nice.”

      16 – bless.

  2. England badly need to up their batting to win this but only by a very little to win this match at a canter.

    By contrast New Zealand will need to start sacrificing a lot of cows to the Roman God of batting collapses to improve their chances.

  3. England will play well/play badly/play averagely.

    New Zealand will win/lose/draw/tie/forfeit the match.

    Everyone will have a nice/awful/ok time.

    Ian Bell will look like a little boy playing with adults.

    1. I will assume England are going to lose and get defeatist, reactionary and angry at the first sign that England are not going to score 400+ or bowl NZ out for sub 250.

    2. I’d love to see a forfeit – maybe because the quality of the catering.

    3. I await the day a visiting side forfeits a Test in May in England because it’s too cold.

  4. At this stage all results are still possible.

    In fact, if you try to think through all the possibilities, it positively makes one’s brain hurt.

    That’s why cricket is such a fascinating game.

  5. New Zealand will make some changes because they lost, but England probably won’t unless someone is injured.

  6. Aussies will learn a great deal by watching both the sides in this test. They will then proceed to forget what they learnt by the time Ashes comes around. Oh wait they do their homework now don’t they?

    1. Writers don’t write headlines or sub-headings. That’s all down to sub-editors. Who aren’t editors at all, really. Editors don’t write copy or headlines or sub-headings. They muse and swear and make tough decisions that you really wouldn’t understand.

    2. But he’s not Scottish. He’s not even British. But I suppose that sort of thing doesn’t matter anymore. Play for whoever you like.

      Sorry, didn’t mean to come across all BNP. I don’t mean it like that.

    3. “4 ur old s having….”??? hu wud’ve thot key is an american teen?

    4. Damn straight Sam. South Africans should only play for England (and Wales), never Scotland.

  7. Sir Ian Botham is an official Unibet ambassador. Visit Unibet’s new website at for the latest offers and free bets on this summer’s biggest sporting events.

    (taken, as they say, out of context – except that it is exactly and in toto as appended to an article on “everyone’s favourite website”)

  8. it’s perfect cos you don’t have to have read the article. it tells you everything you need to know about “where we are at right now”

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