New Zealand vs England 2019: Kiwi coach Gary Stead expresses confidence in his pace bowling attack ahead of 1st Test
What's the story?
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has expressed confidence in his pace bowling unit ahead of the two-match Test series against England.
Speaking to reporters, Stead pointed out that the Kiwis have five fast bowlers worthy of Test selection. He further said the management will not implement the rotation policy for them, but will opt for the ‘horses for courses’ approach.
This summer, New Zealand will battle the top three cricketing nations of the world - England, Australia and India. Kane Williamson's men will first play a short Test series against England before battling with their Trans-Tasman rivals in an away series.
They will then return home to fight with India in another two-match Test series.
The heart of the matter
Addressing the media before the first Test against England, Stead mentioned that he does not mind having a dilemma in team selection as the presence of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson is a positive for the team.
"We've five seamers that are all worthy of Test selection. I'm loath to use the word 'rotation' because that's not what we're about at all but we'll pick horses for courses of what we think the right bowling attack is for any given surface and also that we have five Tests in about a six-week period as well."
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He even spoke about Jofra Archer, who will look to trouble the home side with his pace and bounce. Stead added:
"Jofra Archer will be a threat. He is a point of difference. But he can only bowl from one end. And we've someone in our squad who bowls at a similar type of speed in Lockie Ferguson.
"It's really exciting to be able to fight fire with fire in some ways. And it's exciting that there's a potential debut for him at some stage as well. I think it's really good in terms of the balance of the squad that we have five pace bowlers who all offer us slightly different things."
The NZ head coach signed off by saying that the left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner is likely to make it to the playing XI in the opening Test. He cited the weather conditions and the pitch at the Bay Oval as the reasons behind the move.
The first Test of the series between New Zealand and England will begin on 21 November. It will be interesting to see how the Blackcaps' bowling attack performs against Joe Root's potent batting lineup.