England will start their home series with a three-match Test series against New Zealand starting on June 2. The team will be looking to come up with improved performance as opposed to what happened since February last year. Since then, they have only won two games out of 16. This has led to Joe Root stepping down from the captaincy role. Now, the team will be led by an iconic all-rounder in the form of Ben Stokes.
He was the vice-captain when the team was led by Root. The only time he captained the team before was in 2020 against the West Indies. At that time, Root had taken paternity leave for the birth of his child. This will be Stokes’ first stint as a full-time skipper. He will be assisted by Brendon McCullum, who has been appointed as the head coach of the Test team.
The Three Lions will be looking to level the scores with the Kiwis who beat them last year by 1-0 in the two-match series last summer. The series will be part of the ongoing World Test Championship cycle (2021-23). The defending champions haven’t won a series in the cycle.
Schedule for the five-match series
First Test – Jun 02 – Jun 06- Lord’s, London, 3:30 PM IST
Second Test – Jun 10 – Jun 14- Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 3:30 PM IST
Third Test – Jun 23 – Jun 27- Headingly, Leeds, 3:30 PM IST3
For the hosts, pace veterans, James Anderson and Stuart Broad have made their comebacks. They were left out of the West Indies tour early this year. For the visitors, this is the first time the team will be playing without Ross Taylor, who retired early this year.
England (For the First Two Tests):
Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Cameron Fletcher, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Will Young