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England-New Zealand Series

Three things we learned from the first England-New Zealand Test



Photo: Courtesy

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Former captain Joe Root's unbeaten century guided England to a five-wicket win against New Zealand in the first Test at Lord's on Sunday.

Victory over the World Test champion saw England make a fine start to life under their new red-ball leadership duo of skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand captain.

Broad and Anderson still know-how

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England's two most successful Test bowlers of all time, marked their return to international duty by sharing 10 wickets between them.

The new-ball duo had both been controversially left out of England's recent series loss in the Caribbean despite a then combined tally of 1,177 Test wickets.

But for all Matthew Potts, selected amid an injury crisis that ruled out several England quicks, marked his debut with four for 13 in New Zealand's meagre first-innings 132, the veteran pair proved their worth again.

Anderson had first-innings figures of four for 66 while, second time around, New Zealand lost three wickets to successive Broad deliveries in another of his match-changing bursts, albeit one was to a run out.

Schedule catches up with New Zealand

New Zealand dismissed England for 141 in their first innings, with the experienced Tim Southee and Trent Boult sharing seven wickets.

But with both bowlers having just recently completed stints in the Indian Premier League, where Southee played under McCullum at the Kolkata Knight Riders and Boult, who only arrived in England last Monday after helping the Rajasthan Royals reach the final of the Twenty20 franchise competition, the second innings was a different affair.

Southee (none for 87 in 23.5 overs) and Boult (one for 73 in 24) appeared to run out of steam, hardly surprising given the vast difference between Test cricket and an IPL where bowlers are restricted to a maximum of four overs per innings.

Modern schedules work against touring teams -- the Black Caps only had two warm-up games against modest opposition prior to the first Test -- while the economics of the game mean there is no offer New Zealand Cricket can make that matches the financial riches available to players in the IPL.

The one consolation for New Zealand is that, with a four-day finish at Lord's, both Boult and Southee should be well-rested come Friday's start of the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Mitchell makes his mark

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell only played following an injury to Henry Nicholls but responded with a fine 108 that might with a bit more luck -- Stokes was bowled for one off a no-ball before making 54 in England's run-chase -- have proved a match-winning effort.

Mitchell, however, achieved something that proved beyond batting greats Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis, none of whom managed a Test century at the 'Home of Cricket' during their illustrious careers.