Pitch and weather to help England add to decider-wins over New Zealand
Winning a big decider has become nothing new for England on their tour of New Zealand and more of the same can be expected in their third and final Test in Auckland.
England are 8/13 to claim victory at Eden Park and it is a ground where they have only lost once in 15 meetings with New Zealand.
Key to their chances will be the weather forecast and the state of the pitch.
Rain has fallen in both of the opening Tests and can largely be held responsible for consecutive draws, while the pitches at Dunedin at Wellington were not particularly bowler friendly, which made taking 20 wickets hard graft.
Things should be a little easier in Auckland, as the use of a drop-in pitch, which is grown elsewhere and wheeled into the ground, is expected to provide more pace and bounce to the bowling attacks.
This will make it a seamer’s wicket, while cracks are unlikely to be created over the five days to help the spinners because of the type of soil used in the pitch’s creation.
Therefore, England may decide to play either Graham Onions or Chris Woakes instead of Monty Panesar, or even both if James Anderson has not sufficiently recovered from heel and back problems that were present in the second Test.
A pitch offering pace and bounce will certainly suit Steven Finn and he looks the best option at 9/4 to be England’s top wicket taker in Auckland.
Meanwhile, sunny spells are anticipated in the weather forecast and there is a strong possibility that five days of play will be possible for the first time in this Test series.
England have already needed a decider to win both their T20 and ODI series’ with New Zealand and the pitch and weather indicate that they can do the same here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.