England v New Zealand: second Test, day one – live!

3rd over: New Zealand 5-0 (Latham 0, Young 4) Anderson produces the first Jaffa of the day – more of a banana, in fact, swinging in and then away to beat Young’s prod. The only run in the over is a leg-bye, so Anderson adds another maiden to his monumental collection.

2nd over: New Zealand 4-0 (Latham 0, Young 4) At the other end it is, of course, Stuart Broad. Will Young nearly perishes first ball as he blocks, sets off, gets sent back by Latham and finds Stokes bearing down upon him from mid-off. Young calms down and waits for the bad ball, which comes along soon enough. He cuts it for four and goes straight to his highest score of the series, following a pair of ones. A tame start from Broad, who now sends for the bucket of sawdust.

1st over: New Zealand 0-0 (Latham 0, Young 0) Anderson starts by acting his age for once, delivering a gentle loosener outside off, but then he snaps into gears. His second ball draws a forward defence from Latham, his third zips through, and his fourth thuds into the thigh. The last two are easy leaves for Latham, so Anderson starts with a maiden, and half a good over.

Play! It’s going to be Jimmy Anderson, who just loves Trent Bridge.

“Before anyone asks,” says Phil Keegan, “here is the TMS overseas link: youtu.be/7wpBXg-rMgM.” Thank you Phil.

“It’s a strange thing,” says Simon Wilde of The Sunday Times on Twitter, “that in the space of nine Tests England have twice seen the opposition captain ruled out of a match less than 12 hours before the start due to a Covid-related issue: first Pat Cummins in Adelaide and now Kane Williamson in Nottingham.” I seem to remember that in Adelaide it didn’t make a whole lot of difference.

“Isn’t it great to have a Bracewell back in the NZ side,” says Peter Salmon, right on cue. “Great memories as a kid watching John at the MCG and shouting Howzat after every ball. All day. Which for an 8 year old was utter bliss. Couldn’t understand when people thought it went on a bit… Best to young Michael.”

Michael Bracewell, by the way, is a member of a dynasty. His uncle John was an off-spinner and a mainstay of the NZ side in the Eighties. His other uncle Brendon played six Tests as a seamer, and his cousin Doug (Brendon’s son) has played 27 as a seam-bowling allrounder, though he’s more of a white-ball pick these days. Michael and Doug played alongside each other in the Under-19 World Cup in 2010. There are even more Bracewells in the annals of NZ cricket than Hadlees.

Teams: three changes for NZ, none for England

New Zealand make three changes, with Henry Nicholls filling the big shoes of Williamson in the middle order, Bracewell replacing the injured Colin de Grandhomme as the allrounder, and the pacy Matt Henry coming in for Ajaz Patel. Still no Neil Wagner, which is puzzling. Not having to face his chin music will surely be music to England’s ears.

England stick with the original XI from Lord’s, so Jack Leach is back after his bang on the head and Matt Parkinson reverts to carrying the drinks. (Instant correction: he’s been released to play for Lancs tonight in the Blast.)

New Zealand 1 Latham (capt), 2 Young, 3 Conway, 4 Nicholls, 5 Mitchell, 6 Blundell (wkt), 7 Bracewell, 8 Jamieson, 9 Southee, 10 Henry, 11 Boult.

England 1 Lees, 2 Crawley, 3 Pope, 4 Root, 5 Bairstow, 6 Stokes (capt), 7 Foakes (wkt), 8 Potts, 9 Leach, 10 Broad, 11 Anderson.

“We were going to have a bowl too,” says Tom Latham, with admirable candour. But he doesn’t sound too gutted, observing that the pitch is dry as well as having a green tinge. He says there’ll be a debut for Michael Bracewell, a left-handed batter who also brings a bit of off-spin.

Toss: England win and bowl first

Ben Stokes, true to his word, takes the bold option. “Go out,” he says, “and be even more positive.”


Morning everyone and welcome to the first day of the second Test. A question for you: when was the last time England were 1-0 up at this stage of a Test series?

It feels as if it might have been way back before the pandemic, but it was actually in February last year, in India. And England went on to lose the series 3-1. That was the moment when things began to go badly wrong for Joe Root and Chris Silverwood. Now, thanks to Root’s first-ever fourth-innings Test hundred, things have gone instantly right for Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

Can England keep it up? There is, as ever, no way of telling. The first Test was a rollercoaster, or rather a ride on the ghost train, with a ghastly apparition – the spectacular batting collapse – always liable to loom out of nowhere. The only things that were really different under the new regime were the fielding and the mood music, although the decision to give Matty Potts a debut paid off handsomely.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have troubles of their own. They’ve lost a Test to England, for the first time in seven years, and now they’ve lost their captain too, as Kane Williamson has Covid. This may not be as much of a blow as you might think, since this quiet genius has been bang out of form. And his men are used to doing without him: because of a bad elbow, he has appeared in only two of New Zealand’s seven Tests since November, so his vice-captain Tom Latham has had more time in charge than, say, Stokes.

Play starts at 11am UK time, so I’ll be back around 10.35 with the toss and teams.

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