New Zealand v England: Third Test preview
The sides meet tonight with the series level at 0-0
Thursday 21 March 2013
Auckland hosts the final Test of the series at Eden Park where England will be hoping the wicket offers more to the bowlers, giving a chance of a result.
The tame surfaces seen in the series so far have meant England have struggled to take hold of either match, their first innings collapse in Dunedin leaving them batting for a draw and a stoic Kane Williamson and the rain keeping them out in Wellington.
Here, we look ahead to the final meeting...
Venue: Eden Park - Auckland
The first Test New Zealand played at Eden Park was against England, in February 1930. It was the venue of New Zealand’s first Test win, as well as the lowest total by any Test side ever – 26 - made by New Zealand against England in March 1955. The Ground has been changed in recent years, with the wicket moved to fit into the rectangular shape of a rugby pitch. This creates strange angles for the fielding side, and Alastair Cook’s aptitude for field placements will be tested.
Historically, the conditions create pitches that assist spin bowling. The ground is also used as a rugby stadium, so the Test will be played on a drop on pitch. The ground has not hosted a Test match since 2006. England won the third ODI here in February to seal the series with a comfortable victory.
Capacity - 50,000
Floodlights - Yes
End names - Broadcasting End, Terraces End
Home team- Auckland
Other sports – Rugby
Who to watch
A bowling average of 87 and a strike rate of 222 makes painful reading for the spinner. Replacing the injured Grame Swann, he has claimed only two wickets in the series so far. The Sussex player will want to rubbish the theory that he only performs on helpful wickets whilst playing alongside Graeme Swann in a double pronged attack.
The Kiwi captain has looked determined to frustrate England all series, and with a batting average of 71 at a strike rate of 93 is a dangerous proposition in the lower middle order. Having been accused of ordering poor pitches to be prepared to avoid losing rather than trying to win, he should be highly motivated to go for a result.
Took six wickets in the second Test, and looked like the Broad that has ran through sides in the past. Bowling full and straight to dismiss Hamish Rutherford and Ross Taylor in consecutive balls was the kind of penetrating bowling England will need if they want to win the series.
TV: Day 1, Sky Sports 1 HD, 21:00 (GMT)
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
Harry Redknapp: 'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him'
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
QPR vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? And did Mario Balotelli emerge with any credit?
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Manchester United striker to glory
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'