After captain Ben Stokes said that his team had played “the ideal game” to take a 1-0 series lead, England announced an unchanged lineup for the second and final Test against New Zealand, which will begin on Friday in Wellington. The tourists easily won the first Test on Mount Maunganui by 267 runs, and James Anderson, a 40-year-old fast bowler, claimed seven of those wickets. For the sixth time in his career, he returned to the top of the Test bowling world rankings with the haul, unseating Australia captain Pat Cummins first time since 2018.
Anderson’s comeback to the top did not come as a surprise to Stokes as he amassed 7-54 in the match at the Bay Oval while working with Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson in a potent pace trio.
To be honest, I don’t think it will bother him all that much. He will simply continue doing what he is doing, Stokes said on Thursday.
” I believe Jimmy has been among the best in the world for a very, very long time, like many of the men in the locker room.
The captain remarked, “Having someone like him along with Broady and Robbo is a genuine thrill to be able to lead at the moment. “I can always throw the ball to him when I need a wicket.”
Stokes admitted that he had considered resting one or more of his front-line seamers for the Basin Reserve game, but all three had informed him on Thursday that they felt rested and ready to compete.
He suggested that the group may have drawn inspiration from the grassy pitch’s ability to slide sideways.
The balance between selecting your strongest 11 and ensuring that your bowlers are fully prepared is delicate, according to Stokes.
Once they gave the all-clear, identifying the crew was quite easy.
The victory last week was England’s 10th in their last 11 Test matches under Stokes and their first on New Zealand soil in 15 years.
Stokes was happy with his team’s performance because they adhered to a plan that involved putting pressure on New Zealand’s top order as they batted in light-friendly conditions.
We aim to put the other team under pressure when we feel like it, and Stokes stated that’s what we were able to do.
Given that it was a day-night Test match, “I think we performed close enough to the perfect game.”
If New Zealand lost or tied in Wellington, it would be their first home series defeat in six years.
Black Caps captain Tim Southee is certain that his squad has the credentials to tie the series, although there has been a forecast calling for rain on each of the opening two days.
In 14 Tests played at the Basin Reserve during the past ten years, they had a solid record with seven victories and just two defeats.
He continued, “That’s where home advantage comes into play.” “We have won a lot of games and a few series throughout that time, so we know these situations reasonably well.”
“England played it superbly last week, and we had some challenging practices under the lightss.
But you shouldn’t think about what transpired because the current Test match is routine.
Southee refused to disclose who will take seamer Matt Henry’s position after he missed the first Test to witness the birth of his child.
Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Bracewell, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee (captain), Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, and Blair Tickner are among the players from New Zealand.
Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, and Jimmy Anderson are all members of the England team.
READ MORE : England won’t make any adjustments for the second New Zealand Test after a “great game.”