England A look at the grassy Basin Reserve field will take an unwavering team into the series determiner against New Zealand, just enough to relieve their bowling attack of any pain and aches.
Changing sailors was a possibility after the 267 lap win at Mount Maunganui last week. Stuart Wide, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson in pain after their efforts at Mr. Oval.
Durham’s Matthew Potts and Nottinghamshire’s Olly Stone were ready to step in when needed, but after assessing a lush green field on Wednesday, the players in possession were not even considering resting in Wellington.
Captain Ben Stokes said: “It was just a matter of seeing how the bowlers stood up and they rose quite well, especially after seeing the pitch.
“There’s a lot of grass outside, it looks like the wicket lines have been painted on the outfield. Bowlers were licking their lips. They may have been rough yesterday, but after looking at the field they felt a little looser.
“They’re not training today, so I asked all three of them ‘are you good for the game?’ I texted them and they just said ‘yes’ It’s pretty simple.
“There’s a fine line between picking the strongest 11 and making sure the bowlers are 100 percent ready. It was pretty easy to name the team after they made it clear to me that they were ready to go.”
The enthusiasm of the British speedster to try their luck in attractive conditions does not, of course, warrant the rattling of cheap wickets with the venue known for looking more lively than it played at its time.
And no one knows better than England’s head coach how well the ground can play. Brendon McCullumHe set a career best 302 against India here in 2014.
Stokes said: “You can’t read too much about it, the pitches here can have a lot to offer for sailors, but we also heard from Baz that it can sometimes turn out to be in favor of the shooters.
“We have an honor board in our locker room for batters and bowlers. You can see people getting five for six wickets but also going for a few runs. There are also people on the board who score hundreds of points.”
Anderson will lead the England offensive, returning to the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s bowling rankings at the age of 40, the oldest player to reach number one since Clarrie Grimmett in 1936.
Lancastrian’s seven-base draw in the first Test saw him replace Australian captain Pat Cummins after a four-year stint at the top, another distinction for a player who has been sent off more than any other paced shooter in the history of the game.
When asked if it would be enough for a man who willingly trusts his reputation for gruffness to smile, Stokes replied, “No, I honestly don’t think he’ll be that offended by it, he’ll just keep going.” doing its job
“But for me personally, Jimmy has long been the best in the world – definitely one of the best -. He’s someone I always call to kick the ball when I need a goal.”
Black Caps captain Tim SoutheeAnother long-serving sailor with 15 years of Test experience paid tribute to his competitor.
“He is extraordinary, he has been for a long time. “It’s incredible to see a 40-year-old at the top of the charts,” he said.
“An excellent longevity. The damage it does to his body and the way he can keep going and performing is great for gaming.