It’s a busy Thursday in international cricket. England takes on New Zealand in the final match of the two-Test series, while South Africa will play red-ball cricket in West Indies for the first time in 11 years.
ENG vs NZ
Devon Conway and Rory Burns grabbed the headlines in the first Test at Lord’s. On his debut, Conway steered New Zealand to a healthy total with a double hundred. England opener Burns’ 132 helped the hosts cut down their first-innings deficit. Another debutant Ollie Robinson, too, had a memorable outing. He picked up seven wickets in the match and struck a crucial 42 with the bat.
New Zealand will be without their skipper Kane Williamson due to an elbow injury. Meanwhile, pacer Robinson’s suspension means either Craig Overton or Jack Leach will make it to England’s playing eleven. Kiwi spinner Mitchell Santner, too, misses out with a finger injury.
With the World Test Championship (WTC) final in mind, Tim Southee, who picked up a six-wicket haul at Lord’s, is likely to be rested. Trent Boult, spinner Ajaz Patel, and Will Young could feature in the playing eleven at Edgbaston.
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers in 1st Test
England: R Burns (199 points), O Robinson (175 points), J Root (116 points), D Sibley (75 points), M Wood (68 points)
New Zealand: D Conway (261 points), T Southee (140 points), H Nicholls (106 points), N Wagner (94 points), K Jamieson (70 points)
England: R Burns, D Sibley, J Root (captain), Z Crawley, O Pope, D Lawrence, J Bracey, M Wood, S Broad, J Leach, J Anderson, C Overton, O Stone, D Bess, H Hameed, S Billings,
New Zealand: T Latham (captain), D Conway, W Young, R Taylor, H Nicholls, B Watling, C de Grandhomme, K Jamieson, M Henry, A Patel, T Boult, T Southee, N Wagner, D Mitchell, D Bracewell, T Blundell, J Duffy, R Ravindra
WI vs SA
West Indies will be keen to assert their dominance at home when they take on South Africa in the opening Test of the two-match series. The hosts are unbeaten in Tests in 2021 as they won in Bangladesh and were held to a draw by Sri Lanka at home. South Africa, however, lost two Test matches in Pakistan and clinched a thumping victory against Sri Lanka at Wanderers.
Middle-order batsman Keegan Petersen is likely to make his international debut. The 27-year-old is one of the most prolific players in first-class cricket in South Africa. There could be a debut for West Indies’ 19-year-old Jayden Seales. He picked up ten wickets in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup and has played only one first-class match so far.
Head-to-Head Record (in Tests)
West Indies won: 3
South Africa won: 18
West Indies: K Brathwaite (captain), S Hope, N Bonner, K Mayers, J Blackwood, J Holder, J Da Silva, R Cornwall, A Joseph, K Roach, J Seales, R Chase, K Powell
South Africa: D Elgar (captain), A Markram, K Petersen, R van der Dussen, T Bavuma, Q de Kock, G Linde, A Nortje, K Rabada, K Maharaj, L Ngidi, S Johannes Erwee, K Verreynne, B Hendricks, W Mulder, T Shamsi, L Williams, P Subrayen, M Jansen
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