New Zealand v England: T20 & Test Series Previews

New Zealand v England marks the Black Caps’ first home T20 series of the summer before hosting the English for two tests.

Be sure to refer to the Betfair Exchange for the latest odds on England’s first tour of New Zealand since the beginning of 2018.

For all the matches in the series, and the rest of New Zealand’s fixtures across the summer, get the expert match previews and best betting selections right here on the Betfair Hub.


After coming over the top to claim an innings victory at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand will look to put the seal on the series with another win over England in the second test at Seddon Park, beginning on Friday.

New Zealand

The Black Caps managed to record a comprehensive victory despite playing on the back foot for the opening two days of the first test. Having lost the toss and allowing England first use of the conditions, the visitors looked set to take advantage at 3/203, however four wickets to veteran Tim Southee (4/88 off 32 overs) hauled the Kiwis back into the contest and they eventually restricted the Three Lions to 353, a solid but not insurmountable total.

The hosts actually looked like surrendering a first innings lead when they slumped to 5/197 early on day three, however, the match took a significant turn with the arrival of ‘keeper-batsman BJ Watling to the crease who wore the English bowlers down in a career-defining knock of 205.

Watling first received support from the powerful Colin de Grandhomme (65) before he was joined by another all-rounder in Mitchell Santner who struck his maiden test century, compiling 126 as New Zealand declared at 9/615.

That left England the best part of four sessions to bat out on a deteriorating pitch, however, they could barely manage three as they were bundled out for 197 with tireless left-arm quick Neil Wagner claiming 5/44 off 19.2 overs.

The home side have been struck by injury with both de Grandhomme and spearhead Trent Boult ruled out of the match, with all-rounder Daryl Mitchell drafted into the squad, while white-ball specialist Lockie Ferguson is expected to make his test debut.


England

It was another disappointing performance from England, especially after they started so promisingly. Rory Burns (52) rode his luck to notch up another half-century, while Joe Denly continued his good form from the back end of the Ashes with a spirited 74.

Key all-rounder Ben Stokes top-scored for the visitors with a supreme 91, however, it was his rather careless dismissal that triggered the collapse, highlighting an inability from the English batsmen to go and record a monster score.

With the ball, left-arm swing bowler Sam Curran made some early headway before finishing with figures of 3/119 off 35 overs, however, after his awesome Ashes performance, Stuart Broad (0/64 off 33 overs) went wicketless.

Perhaps the most disappointing feature of England’s performance was their lack of fight considering that at different points throughout the final day the draw did trade odds-on. Denly again fought hard, making a gritty 35 from 216 deliveries but several of the away side’s batsmen were out to questionable strokes, including experienced duo Joe Root and Jos Buttler as well as young tyro Ollie Pope.

Nevertheless, changes are unlikely for England unless they tinker with the idea of omitting Pope in favour of a bowling all-rounder such as Chris Woakes but at this stage, it seems that they will carry in an unchanged XI.


Seddon Park

Seddon Park has been a happy hunting ground for the hosts with the Black Caps undefeated in their last six tests there, winning five. Although New Zealand will undoubtedly miss Boult they can at least take solace in the fact that this is one of Tim Southee’s most favoured grounds with the new ball bowler averaging 21.45 from eight tests here.


Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won five of their past six tests.
  • New Zealand are undefeated in their last six tests at Seddon Park, winning five.
  • New Zealand have drawn only one of their past 11 tests.
  • England have lost three of their past four tests away from home.
  • England have drawn only one of their past 20 tests.

The Verdict

Despite the injury concerns New Zealand retain marginal favouritism over England with the draw also given a decent chance by the market.

After a slow start, the Kiwis showed why they have elevated themselves to number two in the ICC test rankings with an assured performance, calling on unsung heroes such as Watling, de Grandhomme and Santner to put England to the sword. They are definitely worth consideration here at the price, however, the loss of both de Grandhomme and Boult is significant and is just enough to put us off.

However, that does not mean that we can suddenly find more confidence in England who had their opportunities in this match but failed to take advantage. Until we see their key match-winners such as Root, Stokes, Broad and Jofra Archer consistently making defining performances then it is hard to side with the visitors on foreign shores.

But the price that really piques our interest is that of the draw, which on face value does seem a tad short. The justification will be that there is some inclement weather forecast at either end of the test, in addition to the fact that as mentioned the draw did trade odds-on at Mount Maunganui, though England fell well short of forcing a stalemate.

In racking up over 600 New Zealand gave further ammunition to draw backers, however once mustn’t forget that they were 5/197 and that England’s five-man attack should have more favourable conditions to work in at Seddon Park.

A distinct lack of draws in recent times from both sides – one in New Zealand’s last 11 tests and one in England’s last 20 – is the final straw and enough for us to pull the trigger on a juicy draw lay.


Betting Strategy

 LAY – The Draw at $4.20 or better for 3 units.

Following on from their dramatic World Cup final and thrilling T20I decider, New Zealand and England resume hostilities in the first of a two test series beginning on Thursday at Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand

The Black Caps have steadily built up an impressive record in test cricket of late, unbeaten in their last six series and winning five of those. Most recently they travelled to Sri Lanka where they overcame a shock first test defeat to bounce back and square the series with a dominant innings win.

From that series spinners Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel have made way with Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle entrusted with slow-bowling duties, while express quick Lockie Ferguson could make his test debut after impressing across other formats.

The batting line-up has a very settled look to it, especially with captain Kane Williamson shrugging off a hip injury which kept him sidelined throughout the T20I series. Opener Tom Latham will be looking to pick up from where he left off after his 154 laid the platform for the Kiwis’ series-salvaging victory in Colombo, however, his opening partner Jeet Raval will be hoping for a reversal of fortunes after averaging just 12.33 in Sri Lanka.

With Ross Taylor, BJ Watling and Tim Southee providing experience and all-rounders Santner and Colin de Grandhomme offering plenty of flexibility, there is a lot to like about the way New Zealand line up for this series.


England

Although England failed to regain the Ashes they can take some comfort from the fact they managed to draw the series, which means they have only lost one of their past six series. However that hasn’t stopped the visitors from making a series of changes to their personnel, with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow both left out, paving the way for youngsters Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope to join the squad.

An injury to Joe Denly did see Bairstow brought back in as cover, however, Denly’s appearance in a warm-up fixture scuppered any chance of a reprieve for the ’keeper-batsman with Jos Buttler to take over duties behind the stumps.

Spearhead Jimmy Anderson is still absent with a calf compliant, meaning that Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer will continue to share the new ball, while it seems that Sam Curran has the edge over Chris Woakes for the third seamer spot with potential debutant Saqib Mahmood waiting in the wings.

In the spin bowling department, Jack Leach will start the series as first choice, however exciting leggie Matthew Parkinson will be snapping at his heels after showing impressing resolve in the T20I series.

If the Three Lions are to prosper away from home much will depend on captain Joe Root and all-rounder Ben Stokes who produced some phenomenal individual displays during the Ashes.


Bay Oval

Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui hosts its first test match with the latest Plunket Shield fixture suggesting the pitch will provide a good balance between bat and ball.

The hosts have a mixed record at the ground in ODI cricket though left-arm quick Trent Boult has generally found conditions to his liking, claiming 16 wickets at an average of 26.62 here.


Key Stats

  • New Zealand have lost only two of their past 14 tests.
  • New Zealand are unbeaten in their last nine tests at home.
  • England have won only four of their last 19 tests away from home.
  • England have failed to win their last five tests in New Zealand.
  • England have drawn only two of their past 17 tests away from home.

The Verdict

New Zealand are only narrow favourites ahead of England with the draw a distant third option.

They may have received little fanfare but the Black Caps’ exploits have seen them rise to number two in the ICC test rankings, albeit a fair way behind leaders India but comfortably ahead of their opponents who sit in third.

At home they have been particularly strong, winning six of their past seven series’ including their last four straight. While the squad may be light on superstars outside of skipper Williamson, they have a collection of proven performers who have gained plenty of experience in test cricket and one must wonder why they’re not a shorter price here.

The main issue for England is their batting with the Ashes highlighting a lack of quality aside from Root and Stokes who managed to do just enough to square the home series against Australia.

The Ashes did bear witness to the emergence of Jofra Archer and a rejuvenated Stuart Broad, however, questions remain as to whether those two can recreate their success in these conditions, while it must not be forgotten that the visitors are without Anderson whose style is ideally suited to the Kiwi pitches.

A draw is difficult to fathom unless there is some inclement weather which at this stage is not forecast. Additionally, while the odds may be markedly larger about the draw than a result, either way, the price is not getting anywhere near the sort of level required to create attention, especially given the away side’s flimsy batting.

Overall it’s difficult to ignore the claims of the home side in this one. A superior recent record, especially at home, combined with a seasoned and well-balanced squad is enough for me to be backing the Black Caps to go one-up in the series.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand at 2.30 or bigger for 1 unit.

It’s all come down to this with the series locked at 2-2, New Zealand and England will play-off for a series win against each other in the fifth and final T20I at Eden Park on Sunday.

Match Overview

New Zealand were powerless to stop a resurgent England side in Napier, going down by a whopping 76 runs. Having won the toss and elected to field first, the Black Caps watched on as the visitors regularly cleared the generous boundaries at McLean Park, racking up a record 3/241 as leg-spinner Ish Sodhi conceded an eye-watering 0/49 off just three overs.

In reply the Kiwis made a strong start at 0/54 in the fifth over but thereafter lost wickets at regular intervals and the margin of defeat would have been larger if not for some late hitting from skipper Tim Southee (39 off 15 balls).

England actually made a relatively sedate start to their innings with the bat, reaching 1/58 in the eight over, however they were indebted to an incredible partnership of 182 off just 74 balls between Dawid Malan (103 not out off 51 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan (91 off 41 balls) which elevated them to their monstrous total. In the field leggie Matt Parkinson bowled a brave spell, tossing it up despite the inviting boundaries and finishing with a decisive 4/47 from his four overs.

Although both sides have generally chosen to field first, the side batting first has generally tasted more success and in what shapes as a tight contest, whoever gets first use of the batting crease looks to be in the box seat.

Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won five of their past seven T20Is when batting first.
  • England have also won five of their past seven T20Is when batting first.
  • The side batting first has won eight out of the last ten T20Is between these two sides.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Whichever team bats first at 1.90 or bigger for 1 unit

After a calamitous collapse in Nelson, England simply must beat New Zealand in the fourth T20I at Napier if they are to keep the series alive.

Match Overview

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Black Caps opener Martin Guptill (33 off 17 balls) got the match off to a frenetic start, before powerful all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme made the most of his promotion to number four with a boundary-laden 55 off 35 balls to lift New Zealand to an imposing 7/180 from their 20 overs.

However, that target looked completely inferior when the visitors cruised to 2/139 in the 15th over, before some excellent bowling from pacemen Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner, who shared the identical figures of 2/25 off four overs, rescued the situation and left England stranded on 7/166.

Ferguson will now sit out the remaining two games for the Kiwis, however, spearhead Trent Boult is available for selection again.

England will be wondering how they let the match slip, needing just 42 off 31 balls with eight wickets in hand after top-order pair Dawid Malan (55 off 34 balls) and James Vince (49 off 39 balls) combined to put them in the box seat.

In the field the Curran brothers impressed again, producing aggregated figures of 3/58 off eight overs after sharing the new ball, while debutant Matt Parkinson was perhaps unlucky to not feature more heavily after his first two overs in international cricket cost only 14 in what was a relatively high-scoring game.

The Three Lions have rotated their squad quite heavily but have remained competitive throughout the series and I see no reason why they won’t trade decently odds-on again in this one.

Key Stats

  • New Zealand haven’t won three consecutive T20Is at home since January 2017.
  • England have won six of their past eight T20Is.
  • New Zealand have won only one out of four bilateral T20I series against England.

Betting Strategy

  BACK to LAY – England at 2.24 or bigger for 1 unit (trade out at 1.65 or better).

With the series delicately poised at 1-1, New Zealand and England head to Nelson for the third T20 on Tuesday.

Match Overview

New Zealand hit back to square the series with an assured performance in Wellington on Sunday, claiming a 21-run victory.

Having lost the toss and been sent into bat, Black Caps opener Martin Guptill ensured the hosts got off to a more positive start with 41 off 28 balls, before a blistering 42 off 22 balls from recalled all-rounder Jimmy Neesham lifted them to an impressive 8/176 off 20 overs.

After impressing in the series opener, spinner Mitchell Santner continued his excellent form, claiming 3/25 off four overs as England were bowled out for 155.

England failed to back up their win at Westpac Stadium, although pace bowler Chris Jordan once again showed excellent variety in his spell of 3/23 off four overs.

With the bat England paid the price for four of their top six failing to reach double figures, though opener Dawid Malan (39 off 29 balls) did his best to hold the innings together, before some late hitting from Jordan (36 off 19 balls) gave the visitors a glimmer of hope, before they ultimately fell short.

The Three Lions have shown they can hold their own without the likes of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Joe Root in their top order, however the absence of the aforementioned trio does present an opportunity to side with England’s most prolific batsman in Jonny Bairstow.

Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won their last five matches across all formats at Saxton Oval.
  • Jonny Bairstow has scored more runs than any other batsman for England in T20Is this year.
  • Jonny Bairstow has top-scored in two of his past five T20Is.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jonny Bairstow Top England Batsman at 3.75 or bigger for 1 unit.

Having got the jump in the series opener, an under-strength England side will look to extend their lead when they face New Zealand in the second T20I in Wellington on Sunday.

Match Overview

The Black Caps never quite recovered from a slow start with the bat in the first match on Friday, eventually racking up 5/153 from their 20 overs largely thanks to some late hitting from veteran Ross Taylor (44 off 35 balls) and all-rounder Daryl Mitchell (30 not out off 17 balls).

Although England made a similarly tardy start in the chase, reaching 1/37 in the sixth over, they never let the target get out of sight and duly reached it in the penultimate over for the loss of only three wickets, all claimed by left-arm orthodox Mitchell Santner (3/23 off four overs).

Pace bowler Scott Kuggeleijn will be under pressure to retain his place after leaking 35 from his three overs with Blair Tickner waiting in the wings.

Despite missing Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali amongst others England were impressive in seeing off the Kiwis with Chris Jordan (2/28 off four overs) probably the pick of the bowlers, though Tom Curran (0/25 off four overs) was very tight at both ends of the innings.

With the bat opener Jonny Bairstow (35 off 28 balls) got the visitors on the front foot, but it was the class of James Vince (59 off 38 balls) that turned the chase from a tricky to a comfortable one.

After an uncharacteristically subdued start by the Black Caps openers, I’m expecting them to come out all guns blazing in Wellington.

Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won their last five T20Is at Westpac Stadium.
  • New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have a combined T20I strike-rate of 141.64.
  • England openers Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan have a combined T20I strike-rate of 134.61.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand Highest 6 Over Total at 1.80 or bigger for 1 unit.

Having conquered the 50-over World Cup, England will now turn their attention to the 20-over format when they take on New Zealand in the first of a five-match T20I series at Hagley Park on Friday.

Match Overview

Although they are as low as sixth in the ICC rankings, New Zealand have enjoyed plenty of recent success in the shortest form of the game, winning five of their past seven matches and their last three series.

They will, however, be without captain Kane Williamson who will miss the series with a hip injury, while prolific left-arm quick Trent Boult will be absent from the first three matches after being ordered to play first-class cricket.

That means a double-shot of extra responsibility for Tim Southee who will lead both the bowling attack and the entire team as skipper, with the veteran set to receive crucial support from the likes of Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham and express pace bowler Lockie Ferguson who returns from a thumb injury.

England’s recent exploits in the 20-over game have also been impressive, winning their past five matches, though it’s worth noting they have played only four times in the past 12 months.

Perhaps of more value then is their performance in the two warm-up matches against a New Zealand XI which they split after young quick Pat Brown found the going difficult, recording combined figures of 1/70 off seven overs.

Brown is one of a number of bowlers alongside Saqib Mahmood, Chris Jordan, Sam Curran and Matt Parkinson who will hope to push their claims after Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali were all rested. However, the absence of that trio could prove costly against the big-hitting Black Caps.

Key Stats

  • New Zealand have won five of their past seven T20Is.
  • England have won only two of their last five T20I series’ away from home.
  • The side batting second won four out of the five matches played at Hagley Oval in last season’s Super Smash.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand at 1.80 or bigger for 1 unit (2 units if they bowl first).


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