Time for batsmen to shine as England travel to Headingley for second Test
England’s second innings demolition of New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s extended an unbeaten record in the five day format against the tourists that dates back to 1999.
That last defeat came in the only series that the visitors have ever won away to their hosts and the 4/7 about England to register another victory against the Black Caps is unsurprising.
Even the 8/1 for a New Zealand triumph looks generous given their second innings collapse where they made a paltry 68 runs.
England’s bowling attack, spearheaded by Stuart Broad’s 7-44, ensured the pair’s first encounter finished a day early, an impressive enough feat.
However, the second Test at Headingley could see the home side’s batting line-up join the party and generate more misery for their opponents.
The Leeds ground has already witnessed some high scores this season, with home players Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow scoring a double century and 186 respectively during a 677-7 County Championship total for Yorkshire.
And when the Kiwis toured England in 2004, the home side notched a 526-run haul in the first innings of their second Test at Headingley, with 6/4 the price for them to make over 430.5 runs in the opening innings of the upcoming fixture.
A fully recovered Ian Bell could prove to an integral part of England’s batting order in the first innings having now been declared fit following a bout of tonsillitis.
He still managed 31 runs in England’s recent initial batting effort at Lord’s and to register over 30.5 at 5/6 in the upcoming opening gambit is sure to tempt some.
The aforementioned Yorkshire batsman Root will also no doubt be keen to put on a show when he makes his maiden Test appearance on home soil.
Having scored 40 in his previous first innings against New Zealand, the 13/8 for him to register a half century in this next encounter looks perfectly feasible.
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