Hosts New Zealand face England in first of two-match series in Auckland from Thursday
New Zealand and England are ready to face off in the first-ever day-night Test in the country, starting from Thursday in Auckland.This will be the ninth match in the history of five-day format which will be played under lights, and the second in which Kiwis will take part.
The focus in the game will be on two superstars – New Zealand veteran middle-order batsman Ross Taylor and England all-rounder Ben Stokes – both of whom are making a comeback because of different reasons.
Taylor, who played two astonishing knocks for his team in the 3-2 ODI series defeat, has been declared fit and will be a major boost for the team in the first game of the series.On the other hand, Stokes will be playing his first Test after fighting incident last year because of which he missed the Ashes series.
However, as per England’s captain Joe Root, Stokes has not fully recovered from an injury which means he is unlikely to bowl in the match.Another player who will be in focus during the game is visitors’ veteran fast-bowler Stuart Broad, who will start the game with 399 wickets in the longest format of the game and will be looking to complete quadruple century of wickets in the whites.
As far as the team news is concerned, Black Caps will go in with three pacers – Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner – and one spinner in Todd Astle, who will play in place of injured Mitchell Santner. Martin Guptill, who was selected in the squad, is unlikely to start for the home side.
On the other hand, England will also go with the same formula of three pacers – Broad, James Anderson and Chris Woakes – and one spinner in Moeen Ali, whereas Dawid Malan will bowl his part-time spin if necessary.The pitch has a bit of grass, which means it will assist the pacers, whereas there are chances that rain will play a part in the game as well .