New Zealand shows sublime grit in epic comeback against England: Player Ratings for the hosts
New Zealand might have only restricted England to a 1-1 draw in the two-match Test series at home, but it will feel like a victory for them given the circumstances. It was presumed that the Kiwis are down and out after the first match, where they suffered a 267-run win.
However, the defending ICC World Test Championship winners bounced back brilliantly in the second Test, where they got the better of England by the barest of margins, of just 1 run.
Let us check out the report card of the New Zealand players:
Tom Latham (7/10): Tom Latham had a decent time with the bat in this series. The Kiwi opener was one of the five players to have scored 100+ runs from his team, as he scored 134 runs at an average of 33.50. He had a poor time in the first Test, scoring only 16 runs, but then bounced back in the second match.
The first innings of the last Test saw Latham scoring 35 runs before he unleashed his true potential to play an important knock of 83 runs in the second innings. It was also his 26th half-century in Test cricket.
Devon Conway (7/10): Like Latham, Devon Conway should also be satisfied with his performance with the bat. The left-handed batter scored 140 runs for his team, which came at an average of 35 and a strike rate of 43.88.
The 31-year-old had a great start as he scored 77 runs in the first innings of the first Test, before losing his wicket for only 2 runs in the second innings. In the second Test, Conway was dismissed for a duck before returning 1ith a 61-run knock.
Kane Williamson (7/10): Kane Williamson was not the best batter from his team, but the New Zealand skipper was still reliable and got the job done when his team needed him to. He scored 142 runs at an average of 35.50.
The Tauranga lad had a horrific first match as he scored only 6 runs across both innings. After being dismissed for just 4 runs in the first innings of the second Test, Williamson bounced back with a match-winning knock of 132 runs in the second innings.
Will Young (2/10): The Kiwi management kept faith in Will Young for the first Test, but he could not repay them with his performance. The 30-year-old could only score 10 runs across the two innings and was hence dropped for the second Test.
Tom Blundell (9/10): Tom Blundell was New Zealand’s best batter in this series. The wicket-keeper proved his skills with the bat as he scored 267 runs at an impressive average of 66.75, which included a century and a half-century.
In the first innings of the first Test, Blundell played a brilliant knock of 138 runs. But more importantly, the 32-year-old played a crucial knock of 90 runs in the second innings of the second Test, which effectively prevented a whitewash.
Henry Nicholls (4/10): Henry Nicholls is one of the few New Zealand batters who did not have a good time with the bat in this series. He could score only 70 runs, which came at an unimpressive average of 17.50.
The lad from Christchurch registered scores of 4 and 7 in the two innings of the first Test. The performance in the second Test was comparatively better, as he scored 59 runs across the two innings, but the overall figures were still not up to the mark.
Daryl Mitchell (6/10): Daryl Mitchell did not have the best of campaigns, as he could fire with the ball, but he looked decent with the bat. The all-rounder scored 124 runs for the hosts at an average of 41.33.
The 31-year-old was dismissed for a duck in the first innings of the first Test, before scoring 54 in the second innings. After another poor knock in the first innings of the second Test, Mitchell scored 54 runs in the second innings.
Michael Bracewell (7/10): Michael Bracewell had the form on his side coming into this series, but he could not utilize it to the maximum. The experienced all-rounder scored 46 runs only, though he somewhat made up for it by picking up 5 wickets with the ball.
In the first Test at Mount Maunganui, Bracewell scored 32 runs and picked up 3 wickets. But the second Test at Wellington did not work out as per plans for him, as he picked up only 2 wickets and scored just 14 runs.
Tim Southee (9/10): Tim Southee is one of the main reasons behind New Zealand drawing this series, as he performed well with both the bat and the ball. He picked up 6 wickets and also scored 85 runs at an average of 21.25.
The 34-year-old could not do much to report about in the first Test, as he picked up 2 wickets and scored 10 runs. However, the second match saw him scoring 73 runs and also scalping 4 wickets.
Neil Wagner (9/10): Neil Wagner will be remembered for taking James Anderson’s wicket in the last Test, but besides that, he also took plenty of scalps as he was the Kiwis’ leading wicket-taker. Wagner picked up 11 wickets at an average of 33.90.
The left-arm pacer picked up six wickets in the first Test, while also contributing 36 runs with the bat. After taking just 1 wicket in the first innings of the second Test, the veteran returned to record match-winning figures of 4/62.
Blair Tickner (6/10): Blair Tickner was handed his debut in the first Test at Mount Maunganui and he did a fairly decent job. Though the tall pacer could pick only 1 wicket in the first innings, he returned with figures of 3/55 in the second innings. Unfortunately, it still was not adequate to retain his place in the team.
Scott Kuggeleijn (6/10): Scott Kuggeleijn’s case is a lot like Tickner’s, as he too was given a chance in the Mount Maunganui Test before being dropped ahead of the Wellington Test. The left-arm speedster picked up 4 wickets and scored 22 runs.
Matt Henry (8/10): Matt Henry played only one match in this series, which was the second Test at Wellington, and proved why he should be among the first names on the team sheet for the Kiwis in the red-ball format of the game.
The pacer picked up a four-wicket haul in the first innings, while he then returned in the second innings to add two more scalps to his tally. Besides that, he contributed 6 runs with the bat.