Bazball Returns Down Under

Bazball is back again, as England heads to New Zealand for a three-match Test Series starting on 16th February. It will be an emotional return for Head Coach Brendon McCullum, who represented the Kiwis as a player for 14 years.

McCullum also captained the Blackcaps in 31 Tests, winning 11 of them, including 11 draws and nine defeats.

“I always felt when playing that everything was based around the cricket and sometimes you forgot to enjoy yourself. It’s not until the back end of your career you go ‘aw, I can actually have a good time now’.” “You have one crack at life, why would you not want to enjoy it?”

McCullum: BBC Sport

England’s last Test Series in New Zeland was 2019/20, where they lost 1-0 in a two-match Series.

Ben Stokes’s side is due to play Two Tests, with the first taking place at Bay Oval, Tauranga tomorrow at 01:00 am.

Here is the full schedule for the Series:

1st Test, Bay Oval, 16th-20th Feb

2nd Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 23rd-27th Feb

England has also announced their XI for the first Test:

Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.

One To Watch: Harry Brook

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One of the rising stars of England’s batting is the 23-year-old from Yorkshire. After impressing in the white-ball game, Brook made his Test match debut in the third Test against South Africa at The KIA Oval. Despite scoring just 12 runs, Brook announced himself on the international stage on England’s tour of Pakistan.

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Brook was the best performer with the bat, scoring a total of 468 runs, at an average of 93.60, and a healthy strike rate of 93.41. His three centuries, including 153 of 116, set the foundation for England’s batting manifest on that Tour, can he continue his blistering form Down Under?

Anderson and Broad Keen To Be Amongst The Wickets

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England’s premier bowlers may be reaching the twlighlt of their carears at the age of 40 and 36, but they are just four wickets away from becoming the greatest bowling partnership ever, which is currently held by Australia’s Shane Warne and Glen McGrath, who took 1,001 wickets together in 104 Tests.

Individualy, they have 675 and 566 wicketts, in 177, and 124 matches. How many more can they add to these stats?

Robinson Keen To Impress Again

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But it may not always be Broad and Anderson, who deliver the goods for England with the ball, the Warwrickshire seamer has had a good start to his carear, taking 60 wickets in 27 matches, at a avverage of 20.01, and strike rate of 45, and average of 20.01.

Robinson took nine wickets in two Tests on the flat pitches in Pakistan. His best figures were 4-50 in the first Test at Rawalpindi.

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“We’ve got a great crop of fast bowlers coming through England at the moment and it’s exciting,” “It’s a great place to be in now, considering the first game we had last summer when we probably had only three or four seamers to pick from. I’d rather be in a position where I’m scratching my head about who to pick. “The one thing I did say to the medical team is just give me eight fast bowlers to choose from. We always want variety in our bowling line-up. We’ve got Jimmy (Anderson) and Broady (Stuart Broad) with experience and you want some kind of X-factor in there.’

Ben Stokes: Sky Sports

New Zealand will offer much more in terms of assisting seam and swing bowlers, so will Robinson be able to exploit them to England’s advantage?

Based on form and the World Test Championship table, Engalnd start as favourite, as the lie in fifth, as opposed to the hosts, who are currently eighth. Both teams are out of contention of making the final, but there is still plenty to play for in terms of pride.

Can England make it yet another Series win away from home?

Find out on World in Sport

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