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International Cricket - Cricket: England v New Zealand - Second Test Preview

Ben Stokes' reign as England Test captain started in thrilling fashion, now the challenge is to try and conjure a Trent Bridge repeat.

Things looked grim at Lord's when the hosts subsided to 100-7 in their first innings, having impressed in bowling New Zealand out for 132 when the tourists batted first.

However, they turned things around to eventually win by five wickets, as former skipper Joe Root made a match-winning unbeaten century and brought up 10,000 Test runs in the process.

Having taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, the Three Lions are 1/3 to take the series honours and are 1/1 to wrap things up with a victory in Nottingham - with the second Test starting on Friday 10th June - while Root is 6/1 to be player of the match at Trent Bridge.

What: England v New Zealand, Second Test Match

Where: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

When: 11:00am, Friday 10th June, 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports

Odds: England 1/1, New Zealand 19/10, Draw 15/4

Batting remains a major concern

Despite having seen off the reigning Test world champions, Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum will be only too aware that there remain problems in the England batting line-up.

Batting Ollie Pope at number three for the first time in his career didn't pay off as the Surrey right-hander made 7 and 10, and his career average of 27.60 after 24 Tests - with just one century - must be worrying, despite his obvious talent.

Jonny Bairstow at five is also under pressure to perform, having not made more than 29 in any of his seven innings since striking 140 against West Indies at North Sound in March.

Both Bairstow and Pope have competition for their places in the 14-man squad named for Trent Bridge, with Yorkshire's rising star Harry Brook piling on runs in all formats in the domestic game.

His time will come, but he may have to wait a little longer as the home side are unlikely to make changes after their thrilling comeback win in the capital.

Veteran duo make their marks

On the bowling front, England and Stokes almost certainly made the right call in bringing James Anderson and Stuart Broad back into the fold, with the pacemen taking ten wickets between them at Lord's.

However, debutant Matthew Potts was the star of the show and has inked himself in for the rest of the series, injury permitting, meaning that England have a settled seam attack.

The spin option is less certain after left-armer Jack Leach was unfortunate to have to sit out most of the first Test due to concussion following a first-day tumble.

Replacement Matt Parkinson did well enough on debut, but perhaps not well enough to keep his place, while England are unlikely to go in without a frontline spinner given that skipper Stokes gives them a fourth seam option already.

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Black Caps may shake things up

New Zealand will have to make one enforced change due to an injury to all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who is out for the rest of the series, while they may be tempted to draft in either Neil Wagner or Matt Henry to bolster their seam attack.

Henry Nicholls is an obvious candidate to come into the middle order, providing he has recovered from the calf injury that kept him out of the first Test, while off-spinning all-rounder Michael Bracewell - who was initially added as cover for Nicholls - is an option now that De Grandhomme has been ruled out.

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel looks vulnerable after being barely used in the first Test, while the tourists know that their batters have to deliver more than the paltry total they collected between them at Lord's.

Across the two innings, the Black Caps' top four totalled an astonishingly-low 50 runs between them, a tally even more surprising given that the tourists' top order contains quality players in Tom Latham, Devon Conway and captain Kane Williamson.

They will surely not all fail again in the second Test, meaning that England's bowlers will be put under increased pressure, especially if the home batting cracks open again.

Trent Bridge no longer a stronghold

Not that long ago England seemed almost unbeatable in Nottingham, winning six times in seven Tests between 2008 and 2015.

However, Trent Bridge outings against South Africa and India since then both ended in heavy defeats. The Proteas ran out winners by 340 runs in the summer of 2017, while just over a year later India took the honours by a 203-run margin.

Those losses suggest that England will be desperate to bat first this time around and should they not, New Zealand to win at 19/10 could become a very decent prospect, with the draw available at 15/4.

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