New Zealand and England will be praying for a bit of good weather when they head to Auckland for the third and final Test match of this series as the score is currently tied at 0-0 after two rain-affected games so far.
The Kiwis had the better of the first encounter in Dunedin, but England were dominating in Wellington and had their opponents following on, before rain intervened and the fifth day was eventually washed out.
With how the two Tests have gone so far, you would say we should see a winner in Auckland if there are five full days of cricket and it is the away side that will be confident of coming out on top.
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Last time out, the Three Lions really set the tone for the Test right from the off as they recorded a score of 465 and once more, Nick Compton got himself a century. The opener is proving to be a class act in this format of the game and will be looking to finish this series on a high.
Jonathon Trott also claimed himself three figures and there was a much-needed knock from Kevin Pietersen as well.
Alastair Cook would have also been delighted that Stuart Broad returned to form with six wickets in New Zealand’s first innings. Broad is being offered at 4/1 to be his side’s leading wicket taker once more in this third Test.
If England can put in a similar performance this time out, they should take the series 1-0 and build some momentum for the Ashes, which is of course just a few months away.
They know the hosts are going to be desperate for a result and could even play for a draw, so a big display from Cook’s men is needed. It is pressure games like this one that can show the rest of the world you are one of the best Test teams around.
As for New Zealand, they would have been thankful for the weather in Wellington as it looked like a defeat was on the cards.
Now, they are still in with a chance of winning the series, but need a massive performance from all eleven men to beat such a strong England side.
As ever, captain Brendon McCullum will need to set an example with the bat, but he must be supported by the likes of Ross Taylor and Hamish Rutherford. It is no good McCullum scoring runs if the rest of the side aren’t chipping in.
McCullum is available at 3/1 to be leading scorer for his team here.
With the crowd behind them in Auckland, you cannot write the Kiwis off and they are good value for a win here at 7/1.
We are in for a superb Test match here and as long as we have some dry weather in Auckland, we are likely to see a series winner. The action gets underway from Thursday and as we have seen in the opening two matches, the first will be key.