Recent Match Report – England vs New Zealand 1st Test 2022/23
New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl first vs England
After a build-up dominated by Cyclone Gabrielle – which wreaked havoc across the North Island and in acknowledgement of which the teams will be wearing black armbands – the weather is set fair across Bay Oval, a ground whose sand-based outfield, auspiciously, is among the fastest-draining grounds in the world.
And given the green-tinged pitch has spent so much time under wraps in the build-up to the Test, neither captain was entirely sure what to expect, with Ben Stokes admitting his relief at not having to make the choice: “I didn’t really know what I was going to do, so I would have said the first thing that came into my head.”
Indecision has been notably lacking in England’s approach under Stokes, however, and true to recent form, he named his XI two days out from the start. Stuart Broad returns to the set-up, after missing the Pakistan tour due to the birth of his first child, while Ben Duckett remains the man in possession alongside Zak Crawley at the top of the order, after an impressive return to action on that tour.
Last summer, New Zealand were the first team to encounter England’s formidable new approach to Test cricket – losing each of the first three Tests of Stokes’ alliance with Brendon McCullum, the head coach whose return to his native New Zealand has been one of the talking points of this tour.
New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Henry Nicholls, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Michael Bracewell, 8 Scott Kuggeleijn/Jacob Duffy, 9 Tim Southee (capt), 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Blair Tickner
England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson