England’s pace bowlers James Anderson and Steven Finn are likely to be crucial determinants in the Test series against New Zealand that begins at University Oval in Dunedin tomorrow.
Anderson and Finn were rested in the four-day match against the New Zealand XI, which the hosts won by three wickets, but proved destructive in the limited overs series prior to the Tests.
Apart from the opening one-day match which New Zealand won, Anderson and Finn provided a masterclass in hostile fast bowling, giving the New Zealand batsmen little to hit, while creating pressure and taking wickets.
Anderson’s control of the seam position and the swing he extracted created doubt for New Zealand’s batsmen, while Finn bowled back of a length and was menacingly accurate at top pace.
New Zealand’s frailties against elite fast bowling were exposed by South Africa earlier this year.
Brendon McCullum’s side slumped to innings defeats in both Tests on their tour of South Africa, and were skittled for 45 in Cape Town with Proteas paceman Vernon Philander taking five wickets for seven runs.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn did the damage in the second Test in Port Elizabeth, taking 8-65.
New Zealand will bring a rejigged top order to Dunedin, with the recalled Peter Fulton expected to partner debutant Hamish Rutherford.
Left-arm spinner Bruce Martin is also expected to make his debut at the age of 32, while all-rounder Doug Bracewell will undergo a late fitness test after he cut his foot on a glass while clearing up following a house party.
INDIA V AUSTRALIA
By staff writer
Australia trailed India by 192 runs with eight wickets remaining at stumps on the third day of the second Test in Hyderabad yesterday.
Earlier the hosts were dismissed for 503, Cheteshwar Pujara top-scoring with 204.
Australia ended the day on 74-2 in their second innings, having lost David Warner and Phil Hughes, both bowled by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.