England will travel to New Zealand later this month where they’ll face the Kiwis in five T20 games and two Test matches. The selectors made the big decision to drop Jonny Bairstow from the Test squad where there are a few new faces who will be looking to make an impression.
The trip to New Zealand is going to be a big test for England as it is a nation that can rival them for how much cricket is a big part of their culture.
After reaching the World Cup final earlier this summer, cricket is as popular as it ever has been in New Zealand. The country, which only has a population of under 5 million, continues to produce world-class cricketers and the demand for the game has always been high.
Not only is it one of the leading sports played in the country along with rugby, but they love the sport that much that it is part of popular culture in New Zealand with gaming being a key area. Cricket 19 is a popular game across the various consoles in New Zealand with cricket fans able to choose from a variety of modes including career mode, scenario mode as well as playing online. For those who prefer online casinos, there are cricket-themed slot games such as Microgaming’s Cricket Star at some of the online casino NZ rooms, where many of the symbols are cricket related with balls, bats and wickets, and the different sites have various welcome offers to take advantage of.
With a tough tour ahead, here are three players which may shine for England against the Kiwis.
A glimpse of Jos Buttler’s destructive best has kept his side in the fifth Ashes Test, despite the dynamic England batter conceding he has endured a difficult series to date: https://t.co/5ptX9wf5li pic.twitter.com/7Wi2GS6ERc
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 13, 2019
By his usual high standards, you could probably argue that Jos Buttler had a quiet Ashes series. There were glimpses of his brilliance with the bat; however, he didn’t quite hit his usual high standards. Given England have opted to drop Bairstow, Buttler will wear the gloves in the two Test matches. England fans who are travelling to New Zealand will be hoping to see fireworks from Buttler as he will look to prove how dangerous he can be in the middle order.
Lancashire’s seamer Saqib Mahmood has the chance to impress with the white and red ball in New Zealand as he is part of both the T20 and Test squads. Mahmood was the leading wicket-taker in the Royal London Cup, while he also picked up 21 wickets in just nine games in Division Two of the County Championship which Lancashire won resulting in them being promoted back into the Championship.
Mahmood has been on the ECB’s book for a number of years as he took part in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup for England, while he has also featured for the England Lions. At the age of 22, Mahmood is still improving as a bowler but he does not lack any confidence in his game. The Lancashire right-arm fast bowler will believe he can take wickets and just like Jofra Archer, if he does against New Zealand, he could be part of the Test set-up for many years to come.
NEWS | Warwickshire batsmen Dom Sibley and Sam Hain have been named by the PCA in the Team of the Year, as selected via its MVP formula.
— Warwickshire CCC 🏏 (@WarwickshireCCC) October 1, 2019
Warwickshire’s Dom Sibley topped the runs in the County Championship last season where he finished on 1324, 349 runs ahead of anybody else in the league. The Warwickshire batsman hit five centuries and averaged 69.24. England struggled during the summer for an opening batsman partnership and they will be very much hoping Sibley can made a seamless transition into international cricket and fulfil that role.
Given this series is not part of the World Test Championship, England are happy to have a look at Sibley who could open with Rory Burns for the First Test in Maunganui. Sibley has earned his opportunity and he is sure to be full of confidence following an excellent year at the crease for his country.
The first Test between England and New Zealand takes place between November 21-25, with the second and final Test scheduled for November 29-December 3.
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