English wickets to get Cook’s men back on track

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Only Bangladesh are ranked lower than New Zealand in the ICC’s rankings, while England have only South Africa between themselves and the summit of Test cricket.

This series represents England’s first at home since last summer, when defeat to South Africa – a first in eight series – saw them demoted from top spot in world cricket. England will be desperate to get back to winning ways after that disappointment, as well as wishing to begin the Ashes in good form.

England are 1/3 to win the series, with the tourists 8/1. The draw is rated at 4/1.

This series comprises of just two Tests, allowing little room for error; Lord’s and Headingley will host.

The Kiwis have lost five and drawn one of six Test matches in England this millennium, and won just one of their last 12 with England, while the recent series saw all three Tests end drawn.

Their recent form has has been no more impressive, with just one win in 14 Tests, and eight defeats.

England have won six of their last eight at Lord’s, losing just once (against South Africa), though their record at Headingley is less impressive, with two losses and a defeat in the last three Tests there. However, those defeats came against Australia and South Africa, who offer a substantially more potent threat than New Zealand.

That draw was the first at the Yorkshire ground in 12 matches, suggesting that – weather permitting – a result seems highly likely; Headingley has a long-established reputation as a seamer’s wicket.

Should Andy Flower’s side give a fair account of themselves, a 2-0 series victory seems likely, and is the favoured outcome with Ladbrokes at 6/5.

However, regarding the recent stalemate in New Zealand some may well be tempted by a narrower 1-0 series win for the hosts, at 2/1, or a 1-1 drawn series, at 13/2.

A 0-0 draw seems unthinkable on English wickets, while a New Zealand 1-0 win can be found at 12/1, a hugely improbable 2-0 series win at 40s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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