England v New Zealand Test Cricket – Who Will Win?
There is an exciting feeling in the air now as England takes on New Zealand in a Test series that is catching the attention of cricket betting fans from across the world. English test cricket has been in a state recently and this has seen Joe Root ousted from his position of captaincy, to be replaced by Ben Stokes. This is where we can start to witness what effect it will have – and how England will react to the changes.
Ben Stokes Learns Lessons From Eoin Morgan
Ben Stokes has certainly enjoyed getting his team off to a great start, with his team winning the first of the three tests. However, he is taking nothing for granted and there is still a lot of work to be done. He is pushing his team to always try and improve – and hopes that they will perform at an even higher standard in the second and third tests.
Stokes and England were carried on a wave of positivity to victory in their first test against New Zealand. However, Stokes also appreciates that there are still things they need to do to win the second and third – and this involves being even more positive. The message conveyed to his team right now is that they need to be even more positive in the second test than the first – and even more so in the third test.
Comfort is the enemy of progress – and they need to strive to always get better. Stokes has said that this is a lesson he has learned from none other than Eoin Morgan and the way he captained the one-day team – always looking for a way to be positive, whether in defeat or victory.
A Changing Mindset
Although the mindset is changing for the team it seems that the personnel is not – for now. For the second Test at Trent Bridge on Friday 10th June, they have chosen to play the same starting XI that enjoyed the five-wicket victory in Lord’s the week previous.
One player that really stood out was Jack Leach. He was only on the field for the first hour before he landed on his head whilst athletically saving a run on a boundary, and having to retire from the game with a concussion. By doing this, he has found himself becoming the new poster boy for how England wants to approach the game from now on. This has become a huge talking point in the dressing room, underlying the fact that everyone needs to be flying around the field, committing to stopping every single run – and putting their all into every single piece of the action.
An Unintentional Critique?
Unfortunately, it seems very difficult for Stokes to savour the team’s current improvement without inadvertently criticising the previous regime when the team was captained by one of his closest friends, Joe Root.
The team’s poor form over the last few years has been down to a number of issues, from coaching to Covis. However, the implication is that the team was also bogged down by failure, unhappiness and negativity.
In previous times, had the team been chasing 270th in the fourth innings, it wouldn’t have gone well. However, their bowling pitched up, which improved their chances of threatening stump and edge. This reflected a simple change of mindset, going into it with positivity and believing they could go in and take wickets. Their improved fielding and catching demonstrated a deeper happiness amongst the players, and it became clear that when everyone on the team starts to enjoy what they are doing, then everything just starts getting better. If players start enjoying their moments of representing England, the result will speak for themselves.
Stokes always stated that when captaining the team, he would go with his gut feeling rather than with his brain – and it seems to be this that is giving the England team – and their fans, a new found hope.
Can England Beat New Zealand?
The team has got off to a great start and they are focused heavily on trying to end that unhappy run of 5 successive series defeats with a decisive victory against New Zealand. Winning this is a start, although there is still a long way to go. Right now, they need to take everything as it comes – and keep playing the meat they can.
This is going to be a big fight as certainly New Zealand won’t be packing up their kit and going home. They will go into every Test believing that they can win it. This is a team that has grown to be what it is on the back of positivity, which won’t be diminished just because they lost the first test.
Undoubtedly, this will be exciting for the team – and for cricket betting fans of England and New Zealand. England can do this if they stay positive – and hopefully, it will be a sign of brighter days to come.