Craig: Kiwis will adapt quickly in England

New Zealand

New Zealand go to England for a Test series this month not having won such a match in the UK in more than 15 years, but spinner Mark Craig feels the Black Caps are the favourites now.

England are playing a Test series in the West Indies now, while the Kiwis have not been together as a team since March, but Craig feels the past 18 months have been a great foundation for a successful trip to Blighty.

New Zealand have won a string of Test series over the past year and a bit, and also reached the final of the World Cup in March, where they lost to Australia. Many of their players are now enjoying the IPL action.

Craig said of the home advantage England may have: "I think all the boys that are overseas have played enough, and played in England so they know what to expect.

"I don't think it's so much an advantage. I think the boys are professional enough, and can slip in to conditions relatively quickly. I think the boys will be fine."

Of the World Cup, which the Black Caps co-hosted and went unbeaten until the final, Craig said: "I think it was massive, those six weeks with the World Cup.

"The whole nation got behind us, and we had people who weren't exactly cricket fans who are now fans. And the boys will look to ride on the back of that."

Aside from the overhead conditions, Craig also felt the ball being used would not be an issue, as the Kiwis have Trent Boult and Tim Southee to call on, two of the best swing bowlers in the world.

He said: "I think they can swing anything, they can swing a square ball. They'll be relishing to bowl with those Duke balls."

While he was confident, the spinner didn't discount the fact that the likes of Joe Root and James Anderson are in good form, despite England as a team still looking a bit wobbly, even after a second Test win in the Caribbean.

Craig continued: "I think they'll be extremely tough over there at home, a few crucial players [are doing well] and [James] Anderson is bowling very well. So like I said before, we'll have to be on point to hopefully get a win over there."

Latest