30 May 2021: England vs New Zealand: Key battles to watch out for
England and New Zealand are set to lock horns in the two-match Test series, starting June 2. While the hosts commence their grueling home summer, New Zealand will prepare for the impending ICC World Test Championship finale. The series opener, which will be played at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground, will see quite a few intriguing battles. We present the same.
#1: Kane Williamson vs James Anderson
New Zealand's best batsman, Kane Williamson, will be up against the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket, James Anderson. Although the crafty Williamson thrives in testing conditions, he will be facing the vicious deliveries of Anderson. Anderson has dismissed Williamson a total of six times in Test cricket. Meanwhile, Williamson has also scored 130 runs off 341 balls against Anderson.
#2: Joe Root vs Trent Boult
England skipper Joe Root is the leading run-scorer among active cricketers in Test cricket. However, he often gets trapped due to his wavered footwork against seamers. New Zealand's Trent Boult has dismissed Root as many as five times in Test cricket. Meanwhile, Root has scored 116 runs off 323 balls against Boult. Boult, who can swing the ball both ways can certainly trouble Root.
#3: Joe Root vs Tim Southee
Boult's compatriot Tim Southee can also perturb Root in the upcoming series. Root will have to be wary of the duo throughout the series. Against Southee, Root has scored 172 runs off 393 balls. The tally includes as many as 305 dot balls. Southee has dismissed the English skipper five times in Test cricket. Notably, Root was unbeaten against Southee in the 2019 series.
#4: Ross Taylor vs Stuart Broad
Ross Taylor is one of the most experienced NZ batsmen, having smashed 7,379 runs from 105 Tests. On the other hand, Stuart Broad is one of the two English bowlers with over 500 Test scalps. The latter has made Taylor his bunny in Test cricket by dismissing him a total of 10 times. Meanwhile, Taylor has scored 187 runs off 356 balls against Broad.
#5: BJ Watling vs Mark Wood
New Zealand wicket-keeper BJ Watling will retire from all formats after the England series and WTC final. The senior player would want to make his England tour memorable. He will face a fiery Mark Wood, who is expected to be the third seamer for England alongside Anderson and Broad. While Wood has dismissed Watling thrice, the latter has smashed Wood for 89 runs (192).
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