New Zealand vs England: Stuart Broad, James Anderson part of unchanged side for second Test

England have named an unchanged side for the second Test against New Zealand, starting in Wellington on Thursday evening.

Ben Stokes’ side claimed a convincing 267-run victory in the pink-ball first Test at Mount Maunganui last week, their first Test win in the country since 2008.

The seam attack of Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson all impressed in England’s four-day victory, a 10th win in 11 Tests, with the trio leading the bowling line-up once again after being cleared to play.

Stokes said in his pre-match press conference that it was a no-brainer to send out the same side at Wellington’s Basin Reserve for the second Test.

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Michael Atherton believes Stokes sees James Anderson and Stuart Broad as an ‘integral’ part of the England team

“It was just a case of seeing how the bowlers pulled up and they’ve all pulled up pretty well so, yeah, unchanged team,” he told reporters.

“It is a fine line between picking your strongest 11 and ensuring that the bowlers that you pick are 100 per cent. It was pretty easy to pick the team once they told me they were ready to go.”

Another England victory, or a draw, would ensure a first Test series defeat on home soil for New Zealand in six years, but Stokes’ aim is again on playing entertaining cricket – in keeping with his and head coach Brendon McCullum’s enterprising approach that has been at the heart of the team’s turnaround – as opposed to the result itself.

“It would be great to leave here with a 2-0 series win but I don’t think we’ll be looking to go in here to achieve that,” Stokes added.

England's Stuart Broad, second right, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Devon Conway on the third day of their cricket test match in Tauranga, New Zealand, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. (Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP)
Broad and Anderson have been cleared to feature for an unchanged England team in the second Test

“I think we’ll be looking to play the exact same cricket we’ve been playing the last 10 to 12 months and if New Zealand are better than us this week, then we’ll be able to say that.”

The Wellington Test will be Anderson’s first appearance since moving back top of the ICC Men’s Test bowling rankings after his seven-wicket haul in the first Test, with the 40-year-old 26 wickets away from second-place Shane Warne (708 wickets) in the all-time standings.

Anderson, along with Broad and Robinson enjoyed a light bowling session on Wednesday as they recovered from aches and pains following the series opener. The trio’s selection in an unchanged XI means that Matthew Potts and Olly Stone will again fulfil the role of drinks carriers in the second Test.

England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson.

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Atherton says Harry Brook’s performances have given the Test selectors a ‘real problem’ as Jonny Bairstow’s return to fitness looms

Southee: We can’t copy England’s style

New Zealand captain Tim Southee has made it clear his side will be glad to be back playing with a red ball this week after being thoroughly outplayed by England in the pink-ball series opener at Bay Oval last week.

Southee, however, added that his Black Caps side were highly unlikely to try and copy England’s aggressive style of play in the second and final Test in Wellington.

“You’ve got to look at your side and try and work with what you’ve got,” he told reporters.

“That works for England because of the make-up of their side but it’s about us finding a way that works for us.

“We know these conditions reasonably well and I guess that’s where your home advantage comes into it.”

Southee said there was unlikely to be any change to the New Zealand batting order for the second Test, despite poor returns in Tauranga, but added that seamer Matt Henry, who missed the first Test because of the birth of his first child, would probably return.

“Matt’s been a new-ball bowler for a while and been around the Test side for a good long time so I guess he’ll slide back in,” Southee said.

“That’s a decision that we have to make once we get a decent look at the wicket.”

Leach ready for ‘tough challenge’

Spinner Jack Leach had a quiet time of it in the 267-run success in Mount Mauganui, settling for one wicket in each innings as the majority of the damage was done by the seamers in the floodlit day-night Test.

England's Jack Leach, left, celebrates with teammate after taking the wicket of Pakistan Muhammad Rizwan during the second day of the second test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Multan, Pakistan, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
England’s Jack Leach celebrates with Stokes after taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Muhammad Rizwan

If recent trends at the capital’s Basin Reserve ground are anything to by, with pace to the fore and spin reduced to a supporting role, there could be more of the same in the coming days.

“It will be a tough challenge, but it’s really good for me as a spinner to experience these pitches, to keep working on my craft and working hard,” Leach said. “Stokesy spoke to me about that.

“He wants me to experience all different kinds of pitches and scenarios. The only way you can make improvements is by being exposed to situations you’re not used to. That struggle can make you progress your game.

“It’s great that the captain wants to challenge me. Hopefully these experiences really progress my development quickly and that will help me in the future.”

Stokes: Sell-out crowds ‘another win’

After crowds in Mount Maunganui out-performed local expectations, New Zealand Cricket has already sold out the first three days in the capital. Stokes is taking that as a sign that his pledge to revitalise the format with a team of entertainers is bearing fruit.

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Stokes hailed England’s ‘brave’ performance as his side beat New Zealand in the first Test, while Tim Southee heaped praise on Anderson and Broad

“I’ll say we get sold-out crowds because of the way we play, but I’m not 100 per cent sure. We’ll take it as another win,” he said.

“I think the last game was a good indication of that. I think after the initial sales there were another 1,000 tickets sold on one of the days. Brendon (McCullum, head coach) actually said this is the best crowd they’ve seen in a Test match down there.

“I think that’s a little bit to do with the Barmy Army as well and the fans we get following us around the world, but seeing the crowds come in last week was a good thing for us. We want people to come down to a Test match and have a good time.”

Follow England’s second and final Test against New Zealand, at Basin Reserve in Wellington, across Sky Sports’ digital platforms, from 10pm on Thursday night.

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