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England, New Zealand lock horns in Test cricket after intense limited overs fixtures
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England, New Zealand lock horns in Test cricket after intense limited overs fixtures

New Zealand and England will lock horns in the longer format after a series of limited-overs fixtures in the past few months.

England edged New Zealand in a roller coaster World Cup final in July and then edged the Black Caps in a five-match T20I series earlier this month. New Zealand currently stand on second number in the ICC Test rankings while England are placed third on the rankings.

England skipper Joe Root is well aware of his team’s performances when England were shot out for 58 in the first innings of the opening Test last year. England went on to eventually lose the series.

Root said his team will be taking a backseat on the ‘fast forward’ cricket with batsmen looking to put more price on their wickets.

"We have to be prepared to play some attritional cricket at times," he said.

"We have to try to bat longer... it would be nice to get used to batting for 120 overs more regularly, especially in the first innings."

Dom Sibley is set to make his debut and he will open the batting alongside Rory Burns with Root moving down to number four.

New Zealand are likely to hand paceman Lockie Ferguson his Test debut after doing well in the limited overs cricket. Ferguson has been termed as ‘extreme talent’ by fellow short ball specialist Neil Wagner.

"I know he's raring to go. If he gets the opportunity he'll make the most of it," Wagner said.

The home side will be lifted by the return of Kane Williamson into the fold after he had to miss out the T20I series with a hip injury.

It will be the first-ever Test match played at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval, which is Williamson’s home ground.

"It's been a pretty good wicket that's tended to be on the flatter side but there's always pace and bounce that you can work with," said Wagner.

"It's also got it's own unique challenges with wind that swirls around a bit."

Squads

New Zealand

Kane Williamson (capt), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling

England

Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes