By Brandan White
The visitors New Zealand will miss the services of its experienced left arm fast bowler Trent Boult in today's first test against England.
He has a superb record against Englishmen where he has taken 48 wickets in 10 Test matches including four five-wicket hauls.
Boult is scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom on Friday and will only be available for the World Test Championship final against India which commences on June 18.
The England cricket team would be keen to start its home season with a win, when the Joe Root-led side takes on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the first Test, starting today the 2nd of June, at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London.
Meanwhile the Kiwis would look to build on some confidence ahead of the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final later this month.
The weather prediction for the next two days in London is pleasant and the conditions are ideal for a game of cricket.
However, rainfall is predicted for the last three days of this first Test match and a result materializing from this game looks ominous.
Meanwhile England and Wales’ Cricket Board on Tuesday appointed Stuart Broad as a deputy to Joe Root as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have been rested.
The Board also announced that James Bracey would be England's 698th player, as wicket-keeper batsman Ben Foakes was ruled out of the series due to a freak injury that had happened in the dressing room.
Devon Conway and Colin de Grandhomme have been brilliant during the intra-squad match and are likely to find a place in New Zealand's playing 11 for the first Test.
On the other hand, England have rested its key multi-format players for the two-match series against New Zealand.
This means Captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope must step in to hold the England batting line-up.
It would be interesting to see whether England would go with the experienced opening pair of Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns or test its best strength in the build up to the Ashes 2021-22.
England (Probable playing XI): Zak Crawley/ Dominic Sibley, Haseeb Hameed/ Rory Burns, James Bracey (WK), Joe Root(Captain), Ollie Pope, Daniel Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton, James Anderson, Jack Leach and Olly Stone/ Mark Wood.
New Zealand (Probable playing XI): Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson(Captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Colin De Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry/ Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner.
England vs New Zealand head to head in Test as follows,
Overall: 105 Tests
England won: 48 Test
New Zealand won: 11 Test
Draw: 46 Test