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New Zealand vs England 2018: 5 England players to watch out for in the Test series

Sahil Jain
Top 5 / Top 10
978   //    22 Mar 2018, 00:03 IST

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England will be looking to better their recent overseas record.

The contest between New Zealand and England in recent times always tends to excite the cricketing world. The last time these two teams played a Test series, it was a cracking one. England won the first Test at Lord’s despite having their backs against the wall. On the other hand, the Kiwis bounced back in style and won the second Test at Leeds to square the two-match test series 1-1.

Despite New Zealand boasting of a strong home record, their record against England is not great. In New Zealand, England have lost only four Test matches and have lost only one series there (which was in 1984). However, England’s recent form hasn’t been great. They lost the Ashes 4-0. Their overseas performances haven't been great either. They have won just one series out of their last seven away series'. New Zealand, on the other hand, whitewashed West Indies 2-0 in their last series in the whites.

Hence, with both sides expected to fight it out in the two-match Test series, we look at 5 England players to watch out for in this Test series. 

#5 Chris Woakes

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Woakes will look to better his red-ball record.

Chris Woakes has been England’s best white-ball player in the last few months. He has scored vital runs with the bat at crucial stages of the game and has been one of England’s go-to bowlers. In 9 ODIs he’s played this year (2018), he has scored 200 runs at 50.00 and has taken 15 wickets. He was also the Man of the Series in the 5-match ODI series against New Zealand.

However, his form with the red-ball hasn’t been great. In the Ashes series, he played 4 games and took only 10 wickets. His strike-rate was a poor 100.20 while he averaged 49.50 with the ball.

His form with the bat wasn’t too impressive as well. In the absence of premier all-rounder Ben Stokes, much was expected of Woakes, especially with the bat in the lower-order. However, he failed to deliver. He could only score 114 runs in 7 innings. Even in the warm-up game he played in New Zealand, he didn’t impress a lot. He took 1/63 and scored only 4.

But he has been in terrific form in white ball cricket. Hence, the Warwickshire all-rounder will be itching to prove his worth in red ball cricket. 

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