SL vs IND: Sakariya, Gaikwad, Rana, Padikkal earn maiden call-ups; Dhawan to lead
10 June 2021
Fighting half-centuries from Rory Burns and Daniel Lawrence saved the day for England on the first day of the second Test at Edgbaston after even a New Zealand attack without Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson put the hosts under enormous pressure.
The new-ball pair of Matt Henry and a returning man Trent Boult found a considerable amount of swing in the first session after Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. The swing was on offer due to overcast conditions but both the English openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley bated with immense control to defy all the Blackcaps bowlers in the first session.
The tourists, however, never went away and came back strongly right after the lunch interval when Henry got Sibley to edge on behind the wicket for Tom Blundell with the gloves. There was no let-up for the hosts since then as a skilful Neil Wagner played with the mind of an out-of-knick Zak Crawley and sent him back to the pavilion edging to third slip.
England hopes were on the shoulders of skipper Root and an in-form batsman in the form of Rory Burns. Henry was getting a lot of movement in the air and an indecisive Joe Root was sent before he could get his eyes in.
With three down under 100, Burns and Ollie Pope started batting freely and put the balls into gaps to keep the scoreboard going. Pope, in particular, was very proactive in his strokes and got England on a roll. However, his eagerness to go for runs cost him his wicket when he attempted to hit a short delivery off Aizaj Patel a little too hard.
Rory Burns and Lawrence took England to the tea interval but Trent Boult was hungry for success and he got the biggest scalp for his side by luring Burns into a drive on the up. Burns was caught intelligently by skipper Tom Latham but Boult had in him something extra and he repeated the modus operandi to send James Bracey for another duck in his two-match long Test career. Both those dismissals have been the hallmark of the New Zealand bowling attack over the years and Latham was lucky to have at least Boult while Southee was rested for the bigger clash of the World Test Championship final against India.
Lawrence, too, was tested on all accounts by all New Zealand pacers but after a stuttering start, he settled into his role perfectly. He led the England fight back, first in the company of Olly Stone and followed it up with another unbeaten partnership with Mark Wood to prevent England from getting bundled out at a sub-par score.
For New Zealand, it was a near-perfect day apart from the first session where bowlers were a bit short and wide that allowed English openers to leave alone a lot of deliveries. However, they more than made up for it in the afternoon session. However, they would be a tad disappointed letting England off the hook once again and back the bowlers to wrap up things quickly on the second morning of the Test.