Some exhilarating Test match cricket is coming our way as Joe Root’s England are taking on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand starting June 2. It seems like a preparatory series for both sides as New Zealand have an important World Test Championship Final coming up in less than a month and England are building up to their biggest tour of the year, the Ashes series Down Under in December.
Keeping all this in mind, both teams would love to get some solid wins under their belt. Here we have shortlisted five players with X-factor who have in them enough arsenal to steer their teams towards victory.
KANE WILLIAMSON (New Zealand)
Even though Williamson made his Test debut way back in 2010, surprisingly, he has just played four matches in England so far. It tells us how little New Zealand actually play Test cricket as compared to the more established international sides. His last outing at the home of cricket, Lord’s, was a fruitful one where he stacked up a ton against England. His side would be hoping that Kane gets off to another good start. His technique seems tailor-made for conditions in England that can get difficult with the ball swinging corners. Williamson’s form in these two Tests would be key for the Black Caps if they are to win this series.
JOE ROOT (England)
Similar to Williamson, England captain Root is the best batter of his team and the load of run-scoring would rest on his shoulders in this series. Joe’s average against New Zealand is a healthy 44.75 which includes a century and a double century in the last match played between these two nations. He was in great form in the Asian leg of their Test match calendar and fans would be looking forward to the Three Lions captain dominating the opposition bowlers this summer.
JAMES ANDERSON (England)
Nothing resonates more with the Dukes ball and English conditions than James Anderson. He may be at the last stage of his international career but he is feeling as good as ever and bowling as well as he has ever done in his remarkable career. He would be raring to pick that new red cherry and hoop it around sideways in the English summer.
KYLE JAMIESON (New Zealand)
The lanky fast bowler from Auckland has had a dream start to his international Test career. In just six matches, Kyle Jamieson has picked up 36 wickets which include four five-wicket hauls as well. He was the Man of the Match in New Zealand’s last Test for his stellar all-round performance. He had a good start to life in the Indian T20 League as well and will be brimming with confidence ahead of this series.
JAMES BRACEY (England)
Ben Foakes, who impressed everyone with his wicket keeping skills on the tour of India, has been ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury and that opens up a spot for Gloucestershire’s keeper-batter James Bracey. He has enjoyed a decent summer in the County Championship and is being talked about as an exciting prospect in the future for England. He caught the eye with his series Down Under with England Lions last year and the management would be keen to see if he is ready to deliver at the highest level this summer.
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