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England v New Zealand: third Test, day one – live!


England team: as advertised

Jimmy Anderson drops out with a niggle, though he might have been rested anyway. And the Overton window opens – for Jamie, making his England debut, rather than his twin brother Craig, who arrived in the world three minutes earlier and on the Test scene three years earlier. Craig is line and length, Jamie fire and brimstone.

England 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Alex Lees, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wkt), 8 Jamie Overton, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Matthew Potts, 11 Jack Leach.

NZ team: Wagner gets a game at last

Williamson returns, NZ bat deep, and there’s an overdue recall for Neil Wagner, their unsung hero.

New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Will Young, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Devon Conway, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Daryl Mitchell, 7 Tom Blundell (wkt), 8 Michael Bracewell, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult.

Toss: NZ win and bat

Kane Williamson is back and he’s got one thing right already, possibly two. He wins the toss and likes the look of the pitch, which has already been described by one commentator as “a featherbed”.

Preamble: time to buckle up again

Morning everyone and welcome to another day of international cricket. If it’s Thursday, it must be a Test match. About 19 hours after one England XI sealed a one-day series in the Netherlands, another will take the field at Headingley to see if they too can pull off a clean sweep. Or should that be a clean reverse sweep, now that the Test team have become as buccaneering as their white-ball brethren.

It’s time to buckle up again and enjoy the ride. Ben Stokes says England will go even harder this time, a plan that may involve rewriting the laws of physics. New Zealand, who won the World Test Championship only a year ago, are due a win, and they did make 550 after being put in to bat. But England have our old friend Mo Mentum on their side, as well as a new-manager bounce from Brendon McCullum, the super-enabler whose fingerprints can still be found on New Zealand’s spirited style of play.

This game is at Headingley, where it’s easy to picture either set of seamers having a ball – or getting a pasting if the sun comes out. The fastest of them will be Jamie Overton, making his Test debut at the expense of his twin Craig. There is, as ever, no shortage of sub-plots, so do keep this window open. Play starts at 11am UK time, 10pm in New Zealand, and I’ll be back 25 minutes before that with news of the toss.



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