Now, England will face the mighty Indians on Friday at Edgbaston, Birmingham in the fifth Test which was supposed to happen last year but got rescheduled due to the rising covid scare. Just a gentle reminder, Men in Blue can't lose the series as they are already leading the five-match series by 2-1 so the best possible outcome for England will be to win the last Test and draw the series (2-2). Even though India are leading the series but against this rejuvenated England it won't be easy for them.
We will be back with all the live-action on the match Day, for now, this is Ishan signing off with my co-commentators Ovaise and Akshay along with our scorer/analyst Dushyant. Until next time Good-Bye, Take Care!!
Ben Stokes| England Captain: It has gone really well. A 3-0 win against the best team in the world, it's absolutely phenomenal. It's about the change of the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket. To say that we have done it so quickly is unbelievable. Brendon and the backstage team deserve a lot of praise. Trent Bridge was amazing, but going 55 for 6 and then acting in the way we did was the most satisfying thing. It has significantly raised the bar for performers who wish to enter and contribute to the Test team. Pottsy has taken it like fish to water. Broady, even at 36, bowling these many overs, and fantastic to see Leachy. When we got together, we picked the players who offer the best in every position. Pope has done a great job of representing himself and what he stands for, bringing his form from Surrey. India are a different opposition but we will come out with the same mindset and will look to draw the series.
Kane Williamson | New Zealand Captain: It's been an incredible series. We had chances in all three games but failed to pounce on the opportunities. But credit to England for counter-attacking and taking the game away from us. This match was the best example and we were required to be on our toes. They counterattacked and they were good in all the areas. They shifted the momentum towards them and that changed the outcome of the match. We opted for the balance and looked at the surface and thought about how much it will break and assist spin. For us, it was frustrating because 300 wasn’t going to be easy on this surface but credit for them to chase it down. It would have been nice for our top four batters to contribute. We always look into the areas to improve and will look into them. I certainly love this group and it’s good to be playing alongside these guys and against a strong England team.
Daryl Mitchell - New Zealand Player of the Series: Yeah, obviously we wanted to finish this series with a victory. It's a very proud moment for me to represent my country, it's a special moment. Really proud to be a part of this team. As international cricketers, we must adapt to conditions. We have done well, and look to improve on these performances in the coming matches.
Joe Root- England Player of the Series: It resembled some of the over stuff. The ball has been hit pretty nicely by Bairstow. He has been a phenomenal player. It's nice to see him bat with confidence and freedom. One of the best things about this series was how the men kept growing more assured about how they wanted to approach the situation. It's crucial that we enjoy the series. It has been a rocky road for the Test series. I believe that we should emphasise the work that this team has accomplished in recent weeks.. I am sure Ben has got the plans for the India Test and the next series as well.
Jack Leach | Player of the Match: It’s nice to come back after 2019. Great memories from that day and good to contribute. As I said last night, if we get a win, it will be special. It looked dry and Stokesy came to me and straightaway said it’s gonna spin. Potts also bowled brilliantly and deserved a fifer. Also, Jonny was fantastic with his knock and he also deserved this award. As any bowler, you want to take a wicket early and good to be backed by everyone. I'm enjoying and it's great fun.
Jack Leach is the Player of the Match.
Time for the presentations.
19.06 IST: That's it, New Zealand are done and dusted here at Headingley, Leeds. Stokes-McCullum era has begun in style for England and the host cruised the visitors by 7 wickets in the final Test and clean swept the series by 3-0. Almost a similar story for the Blackcaps, they fought hard, had their moments, and put England on the back foot on multiple occasion but wasn't good enough to win the contest. However, England have
found ways to win the games in an adverse situation. Whether it's their batting Piller Joe Root, Ollie Pope, skipper Ben Stokes Or Jonny Bairstow, England have got different heroes in different games. Not to forget contributions from their veteran duo Broad-Anderson along with rookie Matthew Potts and Jack Leach.
New Zeland had opted to bat first after winning a crucial toss and managed to put 329 from the Board with the help of an excellent century from Daryl Mitchell and a half-century from Tom Blundell. In Reply, England amassed 360 in their first innings courtesy of Jonny Bairstow's sensational 162 along with Jamie Overton who just fall just short of a hundred (97). It was down to the second innings now, the Blackcaps started their second innings pretty well with Tom Latham and their skipper Kane Williamson looking strong in the middle but lost
a way mid-way after their departure. It was once again down to the pair of Mitchell and Blundell to rescue them and they once again showed their temperament and rescued the visitors from a mediocre total. However, they still haven't got enough runs on the board (326) as they would have liked. By virtue of 31 runs lead in the first innings, the Three Lions had to chase 296 in the last innings of the Test which wasn't going to be easy against the likes of Boult, Southee and Wagner. Moreover, their opener Alex Lees and Zak Crawley had also departed early but then England's new number three along with their former skipper Root started taking on the bowlers and added unbeaten 132 runs before the end of the Day 4.
On the final Day of the series, they needed 113 more runs and were clearly the favourites to win this but Rain procrastinated their victory for a couple of hours or so. Moreover, the dismissal of Pope(82) in the very first over of the Day, spiked the hopes of New Zealand fans but the pair of Root and Bairstow never let their shoulder down and kept on attacking Kiwi bowlers to seal the deal for them. Centurian in the fourth innings of the Lord's Test Root again(86*) showed his class along with Bairstow(71* off 44 balls) who reinvented himself as a Test batter in this series.
Meanwhile, Leach is the unsung hero of the match who took a fifer in both the innings (10 wickets overall) of the Test. As usual, New Zealand fought hard and tried their level best but England proved to be just too good for them. Don't go anywhere, we are just a few moments away from the presentation ceremony.
54.2 M Bracewell to J Bairstow
6 SIXXX!!! Finishes it off in style, was a tossed up delivery, on the stumps, Bairstow clears his leg and smashes it over the long-on region and picks up a six to end the match and the series!!!
54.1 M Bracewell to J Bairstow
4 Fourrr!!! Bairstow looks in hurry. That was short and wide from Bracewell, Bairstow rocks back at cuts that towards cover for four. Too short from the bowler and paid the price for it.
53.6 N Wagner to J Root
0 Fuller, coming back in a bit to the right-hander after pitching on the off-stump, well defended by the batter.
53.5 N Wagner to J Root
0 Length ball outside off, Root watchfully left that alone.
53.4 N Wagner to J Root
0 Full length delivery, drifting on the leg stump line, Root flicks it straight to the short mid wicket fielder.
53.3 N Wagner to J Root
0 Length delivery, on the 4th stump line, Root taps it away towards the point fielder. Dot ball.
53.2 N Wagner to J Root
0 Full and on the stumps, Root drives it back towards the bowler.
53.1 N Wagner to J Root
0 Drifting down the leg stump, Was a slower delivery, Root misses the flick and it's a dot ball.