Wellington: England’s two-match series in New Zealand is not part of the World Test Championship but will be no less significant for the tourists as they prepare to showcase a more patient brand of cricket under their new coach in Mount Maunganui on Thursday.
With Australia retaining the Ashes earlier this year, England, under new coach Chris Silverwood, have embarked on a two-year project to reclaim the urn in 2020-21.
Jettisoning the aggressive style championed by his predecessor Trevor Bayliss, Silverwood has advocated a more conservative approach to Test cricket, with skipper Joe Root emphasising the importance of patience ahead of the series.
“We have to try to bat longer. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get a good score on any given wicket,” Root said.
“It would be nice to get used to batting for 120 overs more regularly, especially in the first innings.”
England are also leaning more toward youth, packing seven under-25 players in their 15-man squad. Four of them — Ollie Pope, Sam Curran, Dominic Sibley and Jofra Archer — could see action in Mount Maunganui this week.
Root will be back at his preferred No. 4 against New Zealand, ahead of Ben Stokes, while Dom Sibley will partner Rory Burns at the top.