If New Zealand could take wickets with the same regularity as they get kicked out of nightclubs and injure themselves at parties then they would be 1-0 up in this series. Instead, England played their ‘get out of jail’ free card and it would be a surprise if they failed to raise their game in Wellington.
Based on previous performances, the Basin Reserve is almost a ‘Headingley South’ for Andy Flower’s side, albeit one where you would dare to take the kids for a day out.
They have lost just one of the ten Tests they have contested at the ground and with its reputation for rewarding pace, Messrs Anderson, Finn and Broad will be eager to get their hands on the cherry.
The Black Caps record in their own capital city, where they have only won five from eighteen matches since the turn of the century, does not bode well. Surely at some point, their inexperienced bowling unit is going to go round the park.
All things considered, apart from a minor concern about Kevin Pietersen’s form and fitness, the only thing that could stop the world’s second ranked side is the weather but the forecast looks bright and so do England at 4/7.
It’s hard to see past Alistair Cook, available at 6/5 to be the leading run scorer for England over the whole series but the confidence Nick Compton gained from his first test century make his 9/2 price interesting.
For the Kiwi’s, Hamish Rutherford’s huge 172 seems difficult to overturn, hence his price of 5/6. However, Brendan McCullum, 97 runs behind and available at 3/1, scores his runs at an astonishing click and it won’t take him long to catch up if he plays ‘one of those innings’.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date.