The second Test between New Zealand and England will be played at Seddon Park in Hamilton and will start on Friday, November 29th 2019. The hosts will be high on confidence coming into this game after inflicting an innings defeat on England in the first Test.
Historically though, it is England who have won 48 of the 104 encounters between the two sides in the longest format of the game, with New Zealand winning 11, and 45 matches ending in a draw. In Tests in New Zealand as well, England have the advantage, having won 18 and lost six with as many as 26 games ending in a draw. The tables have turned recently though with New Zealand winning thrice and losing just once in the last five Test clashes between the two teams.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Usually, at Seddon Park, there’s something in the pitch for both batsmen and bowlers. Since 2015, there have been five Tests held at the ground. In those matches, a wicket has fallen every 56.8 deliveries. While that is a moderate number when you compare it with all stadiums across the globe, it is the best balls per dismissal ratio for bowling among all grounds in New Zealand during the same period.
As has been the case across all stadiums in New Zealand, fast bowlers have had much more success compared to spinners here. The bowling average and strike rate for pacers in the last five Tests held here are 29.9 and 53.5 respectively. For spinners, those numbers are as high as 66.7 and 106.9.
Right-arm pacers have taken a bulk of the wickets here. Out of the 153 wickets to fall in Tests since 2015, 91 have been taken by them. Left-arm pacers have taken 46 wickets during the period, but it must be noted that they have done so at a better average and strike rate.
This can be explained by the presence of ace left-arm pacers like Trent Boult and Neil Wagner in New Zealand’s Test team, but the former is injured and will miss this match. Wagner, on the other hand, could be a handy pick for your team.
Both teams are likely to go in with two left-arm slow orthodox spinners. Among the two, Mitchell Santner will be a safer pick. He is unlikely to get much assistance from the surface but can contribute a good amount of points with the bat – something he showed in the first Test with a hundred.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson made 51 in the first match and he will be disappointed that he wasn’t able to kick on and convert it into a bigger score. While he possesses a brilliant average of 52.21 in Test cricket as a whole, he scores 58.88 runs per dismissal while playing in his home country. No New Zealand batsman who has batted in 20 innings at home has a higher average. At Hamilton, his record is even more incredible. He has an average exceeding 70 here and has scored 50+ in eight out of 14 innings. In his last Test innings at Seddon Park against Bangladesh which came earlier this year, he smashed a double hundred.
While England have been far from where they’d like to be as a Test team over the last year, one player who has still consistently delivered has been Ben Stokes. Stokes averages 49.73 with the bat in 2019, which is his highest in any calendar year. In the first Test, he was England’s top run-getter in the first innings, missing out on a century by just nine runs. The New Zealand-born all-rounder provides great fantasy value with the ball as well, having taken 20 wickets in nine matches this year.
Our second x-factor is New Zealand’s pacer Neil Wagner. The left-arm fast bowler has been one of the most underrated Test cricketers around. Since 2016, Wagner has taken 115 wickets which is the most among all Kiwi bowlers. What’s more impressive is his average and strike rate with the ball during the same period. He has taken a wicket every 23.37 runs he has conceded and every 48.6 deliveries he has bowled, which are truly world-class numbers.
Our third x-factor is England batsman Joe Denly. Since making his debut at the start of the year, the England batsman has had a mixed Test career so far. While he averages just 31.44, he has been in good form recently. In his last four Tests, he has an average of 42 but what has been most impressive is the fact that he has hit a half-century in each of those matches. A slight source of frustration for him will be the fact that he is yet to notch up a Test century and he’ll be keen to correct that soon.
There are forecasts of showers on a couple of days during the Test match. The temperature is expected to hover around 21-26°C during the day in Hamilton.
Suggested FanFight Team
BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Joe Denly, Mitchell Santner, Ben Stokes, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad.