With Ben Stokes securing his first Test match victory as England captain, consistency will be key for future successes

The home side currently lead the series 1-0 thanks to an inspired batting performance from Joe Root, but England fans will want to see a more complete performance from the rest of the squad at Trent Bridge in the second Test.

What’s happened so far?

Prior to the series there was lots of talk about a changing of the guard in English cricket with Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum leading the charge. The selection, or non-selection, of veteran bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson was another key talking point prior to the first test at Lords. It was 23-year-old debutant Matthew Potts who stole the headlines with his stellar bowling performance as he bowled 9.2 overs, taking four wickets for a mere 13 runs, and just narrowly missing out on the honours board. Anderson returned to Test cricket like he’d never been away claiming four wickets, leaving Broad and Stokes to collect one each to bowl New Zealand out for 132 at the end of their first innings.

After an exciting bowling performance, England showed signs of promise with the bat early on. Zak Crawley’s 43 runs, the highest first innings score in the match, guided England to 59 without loss. However, the events that played out following the dismissal of Crawley felt all too familiar. England gave up their remaining 9 wickets for a total of 82 runs and slumped to a score of 141.

The second innings saw a more stable batting performance from both sides. It looked at one point as though New Zealand might run away with it as Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell put on 195 runs for the fifth wicket. Matthew Potts increased his wicket count to seven for the match leaving him with a debut to be proud of and a guaranteed spot in England’s pace attack while some key players recover from injury. New Zealand were eventually all out for 285, leaving England chasing 277 runs to secure victory.

At 69/4 England desperately needed someone to stick around at the crease and Joe Root did just that. Root formed formidable partnerships with Stokes and Ben Foakes who scored 54 and 32 runs respectively. Root scored an unbeaten 115* to win the match for England and write himself into the history of cricket as he surpassed 10,000 test runs, becoming just the second English player to reach the milestone.

In the end it was a positive result for the England team and captain Ben Stokes. With the pressure of achieving a first Test match win now gone, Stokes’ men will hope that they can make it 2-0 to secure a first series win for the new captain.

What to expect from the second Test

England head into the second test as favourites at 11/10 with a dejected New Zealand at 9/4. With a dry weather forecast over Trent Bridge and neither team showing signs of being able to bat for an extended period a draw seems unlikely at 5/2.

England’s bowling attack should remain largely unchanged, however, Jack Leach’s concussion from the first Test is still being monitored and whether or not he can claim his place back from Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson remains to be seen. After an impressive debut performance Matthew Potts will look to continue his form and odds of 5/1 for him to be England top wicket taker in the second test look very enticing. However, it would be foolish to rule out a Stuart Broad masterclass at his home ground and that can be backed at 12/5.

There are no great surprises in the top first innings run scorer market for the home side as Joe Root is favourite to be England’s top run scorer in the second test at 2/1. It certainly looks like the pressure has been lifted from the Yorkshiremen’s shoulders with the passing of the captaincy and Root to score more than 41.5 runs in the first innings looks an appealing chance at 5/6.

Kane Williamson is 11/4 to be New Zealand’s top run scorer as he looks to improve on the first Test and live up to his reputation, but having not scored a century since January 2021 the Kiwi’s captain might be feeling the pressure and instead an evergreen chance can be taken on Will Young at 5/1 to do the business instead. Kyle Jamieson was New Zealand’s top wicket taker in the first Test and at 3/1 to do it again he could cause England some problems with the ball in hand.

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