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Eng vs NZ 2021 – Explainer

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It’s not on the FTP, it’s not part of the WTC, and it won’t feature any of England’s IPL players (bar one)

England are set to play New Zealand in Tests at Lord’s and Edgbaston over the next two weeks. But how did the series, which was only confirmed in January and is in addition to tours of England by Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India this summer, come about? Let’s take a look.

This series between England and New Zealand isn’t on the Future Tours Programme (FTP), is it?
It is not.

And it’s not part of the World Test Championship?
It is not. It was added on as an extra series.



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Marcus Harris and Michael Neser fly the flag for Australians in county cricket

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The County Championship now takes a break for a month as the T20 Blast takes over the domestic scene, so here’s a recap of how the Australians have go so far


Matches: 1; Runs: 40 | Wickets: 2
Abbott had his season ended after one game when he suffered a hamstring injury against Gloucestershire on debut. The main part of his deal was due to be the T20 Blast – a last chance for him to push his claims for the T20 World Cup – but instead he now faces a lengthy rehab ahead of the Australian summer.

Matches: 3; Runs: 125; Average: 31.75
Bancroft has made some headlines in the early stages of his return to Durham, but they were around his comments on the Newlands ball-tampering scandal rather than his deeds in the middle. He got himself set a few times in the three matches without converting into a substantial score, although was unbeaten on 46 in the 10-wicket victory against Worcestershire.

Matches: 6; Runs: 192; Average: 17.45
It has been a tough opening to the season for Handscomb who has struggled to make an impact with the bat while his team are stranded a distant bottom of their group in the Championship. In admittedly some tricky conditions, Handscomb had his game picked apart by a series of pace bowlers although it should be noted he received excellent deliveries from Kyle Abbott and Kemar Roach before he was able to break free with 70 against Surrey.

Matches: 6; Runs: 557; Average: 61.88
Harris has been the runaway leader in the Australian batting stakes so far with a superb contribution for Leicestershire that has included three centuries. In an interesting adjustment to his usual position of opening, Harris has moved to No. 3. He made 185 in a huge chase against Middlesex (to put one over his Victoria captain, Handscomb) and followed that with 148 against Gloucestershire as Leicestershire notched impressive back-to-back victories having not won any of their first six games. For a player who is actually a Test incumbent having faced India in Brisbane it has been a very handy return.

Matches: 4; Runs: 70; Average: 10.00
It has been a miserable start for Head who came into this season looking to build on his prolific form for South Australia and push his name back into the Test plans having lost his spot against India and then his central contract last month. A top score of 20 in seven innings has left him with plenty to do when Championship cricket resumes.

Matches: 5; Runs: 151; Average: 25.16
Labuschagne has been brought back to mere mortal status as he confronted challenges against the seam and swing on offer – an early pre-Ashes duel with James Anderson went the England quick’s way and Darren Stevens sent social media ablaze by nabbing him lbw. However, in an interview with the Times he talked about how he has enjoyed every moment and already feels it has made him a better player. In the last round before switching formats things started to click as he made 107 runs in a low-scoring match against Lancashire – contributions which were vital to a significant Glamorgan victory.

Matches: 2; Runs: 49; Average: 12.25
The main part of McDermott’s deal had been for a white-ball cricket but he has been able to slot in a couple of four-day games albeit with slim returns.

Matches: 4; Wickets: 19; Average: 14.89
Unsurprisingly, Neser has produced some fine numbers for Glamorgan, having the impact with the Duke ball that many thought he would. There was a five-wicket haul against Yorkshire and then seven in the match in the victory over Lancashire. However, for Neser there is little he has to prove about his credentials in terms of higher honours – it’s a case of whether there will ever be room for him in the Test XI.

Matches: 6; Wickets: 20; Average: 24.40
Continues to do what he has for so long, delivering consistent performances for whichever team he is playing for. His overall haul is dwarfed by Simon Harmer (38 wickets) and Sam Cook (32) but he has more than played his part. After a slow start where he claimed four wickets in his first three matches, he has since taken 16 in three games. The 6 for 38 against Warwickshire is the standout return, although arguably the six wickets against Durham had a bigger impact as they helped secure a victory.

Matches: 1; Wickets: 2
Like Abbott, Stanlake’s campaign did not extend beyond his first match when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his back. It had been a difficult initial outing against Essex – his first first-class match in more than a year – as he went at more than five an over and sent down seven no-balls.

Matches: 6; Wickets: 16; Average: 28.75
It has been a solid return for Worrall, certainly more fruitful than the back-breaking Sheffield Shield campaign for South Australia. A five-wicket haul against Leicestershire was the best performance and he has chipped in around that without blowing any opposition away.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Eng vs NZ 2021 – Plenty to satisfy Kane Williamson despite New Zealand’s victory push being thwarted

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The visitors made a very positive declaration on the final day but the pitch did not deteriorate as expected

New Zealand were left to rue a day lost to rain as their attempts to engineer victory came up short at Lord’s, but captain Kane Williamson praised the “superb cricket” played by his team after they controlled large stretches of the first Test against England.
Powered by Devon Conway‘s double hundred on debut – described by Williamson as an “amazing innings” – and a Tim Southee six-for, New Zealand came into the fifth day sitting on a 165-run lead but with a tricky calculation about how to set up a contest. An attacking declaration after rain brought about an early lunch left them with potentially 75 overs in which to try and take ten wickets, only for a pitch that had only undergone four days of wear to neuter chances of a result for either side.

“As we know in Test cricket you have your ebbs and blow but coming into day [five] and having a bit of work to do in that morning session to give ourselves a chance, I thought the guys played some superb cricket throughout to give us that potential opportunity,” Williamson said. “Unfortunately it wasn’t to be today, losing a day to weather doesn’t help the cause but I thought the efforts were certainly there.

“We made the decision based on what gave us potentially the best chance to win the game, or enough overs [to take the wickets]. We knew losing a day was going to be tough but we wanted to give it a crack. Unfortunately towards the end things fizzled out a bit, we were expecting the pitch to deteriorate a bit more and it did show signs on day four in particular that that was going to happen, but it sort of flattened out.”



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Eng vs NZ 2021 – Ollie Robinson suspended from all international cricket

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Seamer unavailable for second Test pending disciplinary investigation into historic tweets

Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013.

As a result, Robinson is unavailable for selection for the second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Announcing his suspension on Sunday, the ECB confirmed that Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county, Sussex.

Robinson issued an apology on Wednesday after admitting to posting “racist and sexist” comments on Twitter as a teenager. News of the tweets emerged shortly after Robinson walked onto the field at Lord’s in his Test debut earlier that day. It was also just after England and New Zealand players had stood on the side of the field shortly before the start of the first Test in a ‘moment of unity’ with the home players wearing T-shirts which denounced various forms of discrimination.

Speaking after the drawn first Test, in which Robinson took a total of seven wickets – with 4 for 75 and 3 for 26 – and scored 42 in England’s first innings, Joe Root, the England captain, said that while Robinson’s debut had been “exceptional” from an on-field performance point of view, his historical actions off-field were unacceptable.

“He’s contributed well with the bat, his performance with the ball was excellent,” Root said. “He’s showed high levels of skill and he’s definitely got the game that can be successful in Test cricket.

“But in regards to the stuff that’s happened off the field, it’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that. He addressed the dressing room straight away. He obviously spoke to you guys and other media outlets straight away, fronted up to it. He showed a lot of remorse from that point onwards. You can see it’s very genuine from how he’s been around the group and the team.



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