0England v New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand: First Test — England Claim the Honours

After such a slow start to the game the first test fin­ished at break neck speed today – and what a per­form­ance by Stu­art Broad to raise the chequered flag.

Not only did he club 20 odd import­ant runs (not out) as England’s innings came to a quick and dis­ap­point­ing end but he fol­lowed that by a spell of supreme fast-medi­um bowl­ing which decim­ated the New Zea­l­and order.

When Broad is on-song like that he was today there is simply no stop­ping him and he can be vir­tu­ally unplay­able. The last time he delivered a per­form­ance like this was against the Old Enemy at the Oval in the 2009 Ashes clash. I recor­ded the high­lights of that day’s play and kept them for a few years just so I could watch it again and again. That day he got a 5‑for, claim­ing the scalps of Wat­son, Pont­ing, Hus­sey, Clarke and Had­din – so pretty much the Aus­trali­an top order.

There was noth­ing any bats­man could have done. As well as the 5 wick­ets there were count­less plays and misses and beat­ings of the bat. He could have bagged the lot. It was very much like a cer­tain Aus­sie fast-medi­um bowl­er.… his name escapes me.… took a few wick­ets he did.…oh yes, Glenn McGrath.

And the same today – but this time even more wick­ets.  The trick now is to get Broad fir­ing like this much more often. He clearly has the tal­ent and the self assur­ance. Inter­est­ingly in the Oval test back in 2009 Eng­land bat­ted first with Broad, who has been out of form with the wil­low of late, hit­ting some import­ant late order runs.  Any coincidence?

Broad’s hero­ics (and let’s not for­get James Ander­son claimed a 5‑for in the Kiwi’s first innings and two wick­ets in their second) dis­guised some Eng­land fail­ings with the bat. OK it was a low scor­ing game but pretty much all of the top order (includ­ing Pri­or who had a game to for­get with the bat) failed. Root was the only stand out excep­tion and the kid clearly has a massive future. Trott did OK but the jury is still out on Root’s York­shire team-mate Bair­stow and if KP returns for the Ashes it is likely Bair­stow will make way. Eoin Mor­gan is cur­rently ply­ing his trade in the freak show that is the IPL. He has made that choice and so can stay there.  Odds are that it would have been between Mor­gan and Bair­stow for that final middle order spot but Mor­gan chose riches over glory. His call.

The next test is only five days away in Headingley and it’s likely Eng­land will be largely unchanged. Bresnan might dis­place Finn who had a rather muted game (his four wick­ets in the first innings flattered him a little) but then again my pre­dic­tions this match left some­thing to be desired.



Think we've missed something? Let us know by commenting below. If you would like to subscribe please use the subscribe link on the menu at the top right. You can also share this with your friends by using the social links below. Cheers.

Leave a Reply