Hello World. It’s cricket time. England and New Zealand in the decider of this brief two-Test affair – you can’t really call two Tests a series – that essentially serves as New Zealand’s preparation for the World Test Championship final. Very sporting of the hosts to lay on the hospitality, while the Indian players were supposed to have only just emerged from the IPL by now, but have had rather more time on their hands since it was called off halfway through.
Edgbaston is the venue for the current match, where seam bowlers tend to prosper when there’s anything in the pitch, but a few big scores can be made if a batting pair gets set. It will be interesting to see what sort of surface is dished up.
There are no World Test Championship points on the line this week, but there is a possible win available. The first Test lost a full day to rain, plus any number of overs to slow bowling rates, and ended up as a fairly unexciting draw when England decided not to attempt chasing the target they were set on the fifth day. They’ve taken some criticism for that safety-first approach, while others have scoffed that such people clearly don’t understand Good Old-Fashioned Test Cricket.
That’s the scene. On we go.