Fantasy Cricket: New Zealand vs England Test I Preview

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CRICKET - NZ vs ENG TEST I

England and New Zealand renew their rivalries. This time not in the ODIs, but in the Tests. That too, in the picturesque Bay Oval which is making its Test debut. Even if this two-match series counts for nothing in the World Test Championship, there is so much at stake.

New Zealand have their proud home record on the line. The Kiwis have won ten of their last 12 series at home, with losses only to South Africa and Australia. England are on the cusp of a new era with Chris Silverwood as the coach. The challenge is to discover a route to success, which hasn’t been forthcoming in Tests.

New Zealand Preview

The Kiwis are a settled unit at home and that gives a good choice of fantasy selections. Kane Williamson is returning from injury, but averages 63.26 since the start of January 2018. Similarly, Tom Latham (65.75) and Henry Nicholls (64.35) push for selection with good numbers.

With the ball, the trio of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner have been brilliant. Over the last three home summers, this trio have taken 206 out of 266 wickets (77%). Mitchell Santner adds value with his all-round ability, and is a good pick too.

England Preview

England haven’t won a Test match in New Zealand since 2008. In their last tour here in 2018, they were reduced to 27 for 9 before getting skittled for 58. Chris Silverwood braces for Test managerial debut, and so do some of the young names.

Nevertheless, names like Joe Root and Ben Stokes give great value to your fantasy side. Rory Burns scored 390 gutsy runs against Australia and is a worthy pick. Stokes (441 runs, eight wickets) and the ever-energetic Sam Curran present the all-round options for the visitors.

Fantasy Players to Watch

Kane Williamson is the third-ranked Test batsman in the world. He averages close to 60 as captain and is a must pick for your side.

Colin de Grandhomme is not your usual bustling all-rounder. However, his hard-hitting and the medium pace stuff are suited to these conditions.

Ben Stokes adds great value anywhere in the world with his all-round efforts. He is ready to increase his bowling workload as well.

Predicted XIs

New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham 2 Jeet Raval 3 Kane Williamson (C) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Henry Nicholls 6 Colin de Grandhomme 7 BJ Watling (WK) 8 Mitchell Santner 9 Tim Southee 10 Neil Wagner 11 Trent Boult

England: 1 Rory Burns 2 Dom Sibley 3 Joe Denly 4 Joe Root (C) 5 Ben Stokes 6 Ollie Pope 7 Jos Buttler (WK) 8 Sam Curran 9 Jofra Archer 10 Jack Leach 11 Stuart Broad

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