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ENG vs NZ 1st Test: MPL Fantasy Preview and Top Picks

Match: England vs New Zealand, 1st Test (ENG vs NZ)

Date: June 2, Thursday, 3:30 PM IST

Venue: Lord’s Cricket Ground, England

England will begin their home summer against New Zealand with a three-match Test series. The opening Test begins on June 2 at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. For England, who will be led by Ben Stokes, this is their fourth assignment in the ongoing World Test Championship cycle. They are yet to win any series in the on-going cycle and in fact have just one win in their last 17 Tests. This will also be new head coach Brendon McCullum’s first assignment after taking over from Chris Silverwood.

England have already named the playing XI for the first Test with seamer Matthew Potts all set to make his debut. The return of James Anderson and Stuart Broad has also boosted the side.

New Zealand have also had mixed fortunes in the recent past. They have played three two-match series since the WTC final of last year and won none of them. Most recently, they lost to County Select XI in the second warm-up match after being bundled out for just 148 in their second innings. New Zealand are the current World Test champions and will be looking to make a strong comeback in this series.

Ahead of the first Test, let’s look at the head to head of both the teams, pitch report, weather update, top picks for your MPL fantasy team and more.

Weather update and pitch report for ENG vs NZ

The wicket at the Lord’s Cricket Ground will assist both the batsmen and bowlers but the pacers have historically enjoyed the most at this venue. A total of 141 Test matches have been played at Lord’s, of which 51 have been won batting first. The average first innings score is 313. The highest and lowest total recorded here in Tests is 729 – 6 and 38 – 10.

The weather in London is not quite favourable over the next couple of days with high chances of a rain on the third and fourth day of play. The captain winning the toss is likely to opt to bowl first.

England team news and predicted XI

England news: England have already announced their playing XI ahead of the match.  Matthew Potts is all set to make his Test while Ollie Pope has been promoted to No. 3 on the batting order. The middle order will comprise Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. With captaincy off his shoulders, Root will be looking to get back among runs.

Predicted XI: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, James Anderson, Stuart Broad

New Zealand team news and predicted XI

Team news: Trent Boult might not play the opening Test because of a late arrival in England after wrapping up the IPL. Henry Nicholls has been ruled out of the first Test due to Covid19 and Daryl Mitchell will bat at his place on no.5.

Predicted XI: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel

Head to head record

England and New Zealand have so far played 107 Tests, from which England have 48 wins. New Zealand have won 12 games while 47 matches were drawn. Of the 48 wins, England have won 30 at home and 18 away.  New Zealand, meanwhile, have won six games at home and as many away. They are unbeaten in their last four Tests in England.

Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for ENG vs NZ

Joe Root – batsman, England

Former England skipper Joe Root is the leading run-getter in Tests among players who are active. In 117 Tests, Root has scored 9,889 runs at an average of 49.19. This includes 25 tons and 53 fifties. His average at home is even more impressive. In England, Root has played 59 Tests and amassed 5,009 runs at an average of 52.17. He needs only 111 runs to reach 10,000 runs in Tests and upon reaching that mark, he will become the 14th player and second from his country to score 10,000 runs in red-ball cricket. With the pressure of captaincy off his shoulders, expect Root to make a strong statement with the bat in the upcoming games.

Ben Stokes – all-rounder, England

All eyes will be on new skipper Ben Stokes who has taken over from Joe Root. Root stepped down as Test captain after a series of losses away from home, including Ashes and series defeats in India and West Indies. Stokes has produced some impressive knocks recently. He put up some good all-rounder performances in first class cricket last month, including a century and a four wicket haul. Before that, he scored a century against the West Indies in March. In all, the skipper has a Test batting average of 35.89 along with 174 wickets.

Devon Conway – batsman, New Zealand

Devon Conway burst onto the scene only last year but has already established himself as one of New Zealand’s dependable batsmen. He hit a double century on debut at Lord’s last year and ended the series as the highest run-scorer, scoring 306 runs in four innings at an average of 76.50.

Colin de Grandhomme – all-rounder, New Zealand

Colin de Grandhomme was the leading run-scorer for New Zealand in the last Test series against South Africa where he made183 runs in three innings at an average of 91.50. He will be looking for another good run in the series against England.

James Anderson – bowler, England

James Anderson, who did not do well in the Ashes, was dropped for the series against West Indies. But on the back of good performances in country cricket, the bowler is back into the national team. Anderson picked 12 wickets in four matches in County Cricket.

MPL fantasy XI – ENG vs NZ, 1st Test

ENG vs NZ – where and what time to watch the match live in India 

The England vs New Zealand series can be watched on Sony Six. You can also watch the live streaming of the game on the Sony Liv app. The match will begin at 3.30 PM IST on June 3.

Check out our detailed guide on fantasy cricket for more tips and tricks. 

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams. 

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.


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