England Vs New Zealand 2021 Test Series Review – Short but good nevertheless.
Devon Conway & Will Young eased into Test cricket, New Zealand tried their options for the World Test Championship Final, and England lost some options as they gear up for the India series & the must awaited Ashes later this season.
Results, Scorecards, & Video Highlights
A slightly boring draw and a New Zealand win to sum it up.
*Player of the Match
|Player of the Series||England|
|Most Runs||Rory Burns – 238 runs|
(best of 132, 59.50 average, 100s-1, 50s-1)
|Devon Conway – 306 runs|
(best of 200, 76.50 average, 100s-1, 50s-1
|Most Wickets||Ollie Robinson – 7 wickets (1 match only)||Tim Southee – 7 wickets (1 match only)|
(best innings – 6/43, best match – 7/80, 11.42 average)
England’s batting continues to go down hill after the 1st test against India. They have now lost 4 and drawn 1 in the past five Tests (2 at home, 4 away). All the hopes and dreams after away series wins in South Africa and Sri Lanka are crashing down quickly.
The Batting: England’s Batting Averages Just Not Good Enough
Jarrod Kimber analyzed England’s poor batting numbers this era quite nicely.
- One of the highlights of Kimber’s analysis was Rory Burns has been a stable cog in this English lineup despite the poor numbers. He scored a brilliant ton and almost carried the bat in this series, which increased his Test average to 33.23 with 3 hundreds and 9 fifties. Not the best stats after 25 Tests, but the Sibley-Rory partnership has done a decent job in the past couple of years. Well, not quite Strauss-Cook, but the standards have been so low recently that a Burns century should be rightly celebrated.
- Zak Crawley’s scores in this series—2 & 2, 0 & 17. Not good enough for a #3 batter at home. I hope England persist with him but he needs to meet them halfway, nothing of note since that 267.
- Ollie Pope looks like Ian Bell, bats like Ian Bell, but I hope he starts converting like Ian Bell. Beautiful 20s and 30s can only get you so far—think James Vince (22 & 20*, 19 & 23 this series).
The batting averages of England’s main batters are far from impressive. Joe Root’s overall average is great, but has been struggling at home for quite a while now.
Rory Burns (33.23), Dom Sibley (30.78), Zak Crawley (29.33), Joe Root (48.68), Ollie Pope (31.50), Jos Buttler (34.53), Ben Stokes (37.04).
Suddenly, Joe Denly’s 29.53 with his infamous Denturies does not look that bad, does it?
The Nasser Hussain
Commentator Nasser Hussain did not mince any words in the post-series analysis, urging their batters to get back to basics and avoid funny techniques. The current England batters have the mindset that:
“Everyone else that has played the game in the history of the game. Viv Richards you were wrong. Everyone is wrong, we are right.”– Nasser Hussain
Debutants & Fast Bowlers A Mixed Bag
- Debutants Ollie Robinson & James Bracey had contrasting series. Although Robinson had a brilliant debut, both with the bat and bowl (highest wicket-taker for England in just 1 match), he was suspended from international cricket due to resurfacing controversial tweets. Poor Bracey had a tough debut series – 0, 0 & 8. Broken Dreams for both.
- The senior fast bowlers were the only positives of the series. Mark Wood impressed…with the bat. He was among the wickets and consistently bowled his heart out as usual but his 41 & 29 in the 2nd Test showed England that the pitch does not contain any demons.
- The old Stuart Broad showed up. In the 2nd Test, it seems that one of those spells was just around the corner. One of the bright lights in the series. Definitely got a couple more years left in him.
- Jimmy Anderson was not as sharp this series, with just 3 wickets and averaging 68.66. Surpassed Alastair Cook as the most capped Test player for England-162 Tests. Take a bow.
The Debutants Star
- In every series review, I highlight a couple of standout performers of the series. Guess what? In EVERY New Zealand series over the last year, Devon Conway has made the series headlines. T20I debut? Conquered. ODI debut? Check. Test debut at Lord’s? Double century and almost carries the bat. What else is there to say? 76.50 Test average, 75.00 ODI average, 59.12 T20I average. 1-200, 1-100, 4-50s in just 18 innings. Brilliant.
- Will Young is continuing his good touch. Scored his maiden T20I fifty against Bangladesh recently and was picked in the 2nd Test after Williamson’s injury on the basis of a couple of centuries in County Cricket. Missed his century by 18 runs, but has finally found his feet in international cricket. He his here to stay.
- Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, and Neil Wagner all impressed with whatever chances they got.
- Henry picked 3/78 & 3/36 to bag the player of the match in the 2nd Test
- Ajaz Patel’s control and guile were impressive with figures of 2/34 & 2/25.
- Neil Wagner bowled line and length more than his usual bouncers. Not unplayable but impactful for sure. Should edge Kyle Jamieson/Matt Henry for the WTC Final spot.
Senior Pros Provide Solid Support
- Tim Southee is gearing up to the WTC Final with a superb series. After having re-invented himself in T20Is this year, he has found his swing, line, & length again.
- Ross Taylor, one of New Zealand’s greatest, justified that tagline with a 80 in the 2nd Test. The beauty of that innings was he was nowhere close to his best. Stuart Broad was beating his edge right and left, but he survived and capitalized later on. In contrast, England’s batting collapsed to 76-7 and none of the batters had the will to fight it out like Taylor did.
- Unfortunately for BJ Watling, he suffered a minor back injury on the eve of the 2nd Test and missed out. Hope he is ready for his swansong in the World Test Championship final.
In addition to Rory Burns’ 81 in the 2nd Test, the only criticism for New Zealand I could find would be the lack of conversion for three batters (Conway 80, Young 82, Taylor 80).
|Emerging Player||Ollie Robinson||Devon Conway & Will Young|
|Surprise Package||Mark Wood, the batsman||Matt Henry & Ajaz Patel|
|Broken Cricket Dream||Ollie Robinson, Zak Crawley||BJ Watling|
Where Do They Go From Here?
New Zealand will be in the World Test Championship Final starting tomorrow.
Apart from the various leagues in the next few months which will keep the New Zealand players busy, the next international fixture is scheduled between 29th January-8th February 2022 for 3 ODIs & a T20I.
The English players have a long season ahead.
- The Vitality Blast is ongoing right now
- County Championship continues in July
- Sri Lanka come to England for 3 T20I and 3 ODIs (23rd June-4th July)
- India stay in England for a 5-Test series (August (4th August-14th September)
- England’s historic tour of Pakistan – 2 T20Is (13th-14th October)
- The ASHES – 5 Tests (8th December – 22nd January)
- England tour West Indies for a complete tour – 5 T20Is & 3 Tests (28th January-24th March, 2022)