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Our Prediction: Kiwis will win 2nd Test

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England and New Zealand clash in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham from today.

England got off to a good start under Ben Stokes winning the first Test at Lord’s and are leading the series 1-0. 

The victory was made possible thanks to some brilliant bowling and the class of Joe Root.

Root created history by becaming the second Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs.

In the process, he led England to the third-highest successful run chase ever at Lord’s.

It was England’s first Test win against New Zealand ins six attempts.

Team News

Kane Williamson has also been ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Hence Tom Latham will lead the team.

All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme is out of the series with a heel injury.

In his place, Hamish Rutherford, plays for Leicestershire, could come in to open.

The seasoned Henry Nicholls is set to return to the side.

England will probably go in with an unchanged XI for the second Test.

Jack Leech has been declared fit and will be available to play after completing the seven-day concussion recovery period.

Head-to-Head Test Record

Overall – 108

ENG Won – 49 

NZ Won – 12 

Draw – 47

Trent Bridge Pitch report

Bright weather is predicted through the week.

The captain winning the toss might bowl first as the pitch has a green tinge to it.

The pitch might ease in the latter half of the Test so batting will become much easier.

The average first innings score here in the past five Tests is 273.

Trent Bridge is the pitch where Australia got all out for 60 in 2015.

So, it’s a place where pace bowlers always fancy their chances.

Current form

England is riding high based on their outstanding performance in the 1st Test.
The addition of Brendon McCullum has added a new energy to the side.
Their bowlers are in top form.
Debutant Matthew Potts took 4-13 and James Anderson 4-66 in the first innings as NZ collapsed for 132 all out.
England replied with 141 runs.
However, New Zealand scored only 285 in the 2nd innings, leaving England a target of 277.
Joe Root was the man of the hour for the English side. He scored 115 not out while Ben Stoked supported with 54, leaving England victors by five wickets.

Expected key players for the match

Kyle Jamieson is a real danger man for England.

He has taken 16 wickets in three Tests in England at an average of 17.06.

He triggered  England’s remarkable collapse on day one at Lord’s.

Devon Conway will also play a vital role.

He was batting quite well in the second innings at Lord’s before getting out.

Devon has a spectacular record against England, having scored 306 runs in two Tests last year.

For England, Joe Root and Ben Stokes are expected to shine with the bat and Stuart Broad with the ball.

New Zealand: 1. Tom Latham (c), 2. Hamish Rutherford, 3. Will Young, 4. Devon Conway, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. Daryl Mitchell, 7. Tom Blundell (wk), 8. Kyle Jamieson, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Matt Henry/Neil Wagner/Ajaz Patel, 11. Trent Boult

England: 1. Alex Lees, 2. Zak Crawley, 3. Ollie Pope, 4. Joe Root, 5. Jonny Bairstow, 6. Ben Stokes (c), 7. Ben Foakes (wk), 8. Matthew Potts 9. Jack Leach, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson

Who will win?

New Zealand were 270 for 4 wickets when reports last came in.

This puts NZ in a strong situation.

New Zealand has a potent seam attack comprising Boult, Jamieson and Southee who can wreak havoc in English conditions.

NZ is also the World Champion in Test cricket and we expect them to come back strongly in this Test.

Our Prediction is a draw or a win for New Zealand in the second Test.

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No mercy from India! Jasprit Bumrah set to return for final Test against England in Dharamsala

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Jasprit Bumrah

Team India have pocked the five-match Test series against England with a five-wicket win in the fourth match. With a 3-1 lead in the series, they will head into the final Test in Dharamsala as a confident unit. While it is crucial for Ben Stokes and Co. to leave the touring nation on a positive note, the home side is likely to experiment with their playing XI for the low-key fixture.

According to reports, the Indian cricket management is considering resting a few players for the final Test due to the workload. India were without some key players due to withdrawal and injuries throughout the series. However, the youngsters stepped up and gave the desired result, gaining the confidence of the management.

Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are not going to make it easy for the visitors when the two teams clash at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium from March 7. As per Cricbuzz, elite pacer and the team’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah is set to be recalled. This shows that India will go hard in the upcoming match and aim to settle the series 4-1.

Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi as he played three matches on a trot. The 30-year-old has been carefully managed by management since his return from a back injury last year after a nearly year-long absence. He made his comeback in the T20I series against Ireland and after that, he played only in crucial fixtures like the Asia Cup, ODI World Cup, and Test matches. With the 2024 T20 World Cup also around the corner, it will be important for the team to manage Bumrah’s workload.

KL Rahul doubtful for Dharamsala Test 

KL Rahul, who was deemed 90% fit before the third Test in Rajkot, has not fully recovered and is unlikely to play in the final match. Rahul suffered a quadriceps strain in the series opener and missed the next two matches. The report states that the Karnataka cricketer has been sent overseas for treatment.

It remains to be seen whether the under-fire Rajat Patidar will get another chance to prove his mettle in Rahul’s absence. Patidar looked promising in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test, but then lost his rhythm and suffered a series of low scores, including two ducks.

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‘Ye toh Mohammad Kaif 2.0 nikla’ – Fans react as Brendon McCullum accepts series defeat against India and claim themselves to be better than they were in 2022

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Brendon McCullum has reacted to England’s performance in the ongoing series against India. The visiting side are currently trailing 1-3 in the series after the conclusion of the 4th Test in Ranchi. With the fifth Test set to happen in Dharamshala, England have lost the series by all means. They do have a chance to end the series on a high note by winning the last Test.

After the loss against India in the 4th Test, McCullum was in the press conference. He claimed that they are a better side than they were 18 months ago. Brendon acknowledged the fact that they lost the series against India and could not win in the Ashes. He felt that given the way England is playing, there is a good chance of them doing special things in the next 18 months in Test cricket.

“We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes, but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special shitz. I’m fizzing for it, to be honest,” said McCullum as he was hopeful of a bright future for England in Tests. It is true that England were not as competitive under Joe Root as they are under Ben Stokes.

Improved competitiveness of England

While Root’s tenure was good before the pandemic, the team struggled under his captaincy. 2021 and early 2020 were the years when England was demoralised. They lost in India 1-3 and trailed 1-2 at home against the same opponent. For the first time in over 20 years, NZ beat England in Tests in their own backyard. In 2022, England lost the Ashes 0-4 away from home.

They also lost to the West Indies 0-1 which acted as a final nail in the coffin of Root’s leadership. However, things have changed drastically under Stokes and McCullum. They won the series against New Zealand at home and clean-swept Pakistan in their own backyard. They drew the Ashes 2-2 and drew the series against NZ 1-1 before losing the series against India.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the statement of Brendon McCullum –

 

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WATCH: IShowSpeed reacts to Virat Kohli becoming father for 2nd time

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Speed

IShowSpeed took to his YouTube channel and reacted to Virat Kohli becoming the father for the 2nd time in his life. The popular YouTuber is known to be a fan of Virat in cricket. He claimed that the Indian batter got twins. In the video which has gone viral on the internet, Speed was seen reacting to the announcement of the star couple. He was visibly excited about seeing the good news.

Speed claimed that Akaay and Vamika are twins. The fan of the Indian batter claimed that the son of Virat should have been named as ‘Virat Kohli Jr’. He went on to add that Akaay could become a young GOAT. Seeing the announcement video, the popular YouTuber claimed that he would still call Akaay as ‘Virat Kohli Jr’.

Watch the viral video of Speed here –

 

He got twins!! Virat Kohli got twins!! Vamika and Akaay! Akaay about to be a young GOAT. He should have been named to Virat Kohli Jr, I’m still going to call him Kohli Jr bro,” said I Show Speed in his video. The fans are in bits after seeing the video of the YouTuber and said that he is too funny. The way Speed calls Virat was mocked by the fans on social media.

The family of Virat Kohli

Virat has a big family. While his father died when he was playing a Ranji Trophy game in the 2000s, he has a brother and mother. In 2017, Virat married Anushka which became a sensation. The star couple has been the talk of the town since then. In 2021, Virat and Anushka were blessed with their first child. The duo named her as ‘Vamika‘.

Earlier this year, Virat took a leave during the series against England. The fans were not sure of the reason behind the move of the batter that he even could not attend the Ram Mandir inaugural ceremony. Earlier this month, the fans got to know that the couple became the parents for the 2nd time. Anushka and Virat posted a joint statement where they declared to be parents and announced ‘Akaay’ to the world.

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