Cricket - Match preview: New Zealand v England, First Test

New Zealand v England, first Test of three-match series - University Oval, Dunedin: March 5-9, starting 21:30 UK time

Cricket - Match preview: New Zealand v England, First Test

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Alastair Cook


New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell has been ruled out after cutting his foot on glass when cleaning up after a house party. Neil Wagner is likely to slot into the side in the third pace bowler role. Ian Butler, who was brought in as cover in case Bracewell failed to recover, and left arm spinner Bruce Martin would contest the final place in the starting side.

Stuart Broad looks set to return to support James Anderson and Steven Finn, but doubts remain over whether he will be able to play a full part in the series as he attempts to manage his heel problem. Nick Compton will retain his position alongside captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order.


New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell (withdrawn), Dean Brownlie, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes


New Zealand team manager Mike Sandle: "We've told Doug (Bracewell) that he needs to take responsibility for what happens around him and that he needs to do all he can to ensure his preparation for international cricket is not compromised. Doug is very sorry for any inconvenience he has caused his team-mates and members of the public, and he has apologised to his neighbour in Napier."

England coach Andy Flower: "I hope to see us a lot sharper for the first Test. One warm-up game isn't ideal, but it is what we have been given. Our guys have been on the road for almost four months now - those who have played all three forms of the game - and you cannot play constantly for 12 months. Sometimes the preparation schedules are not going to be perfect, so part of the skill of being an international sportsperson is being able to adapt where necessary."

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The University Oval in Dunedin holds 6,000 and is located in Logan Park. It is a beautiful tree-lined ground with plenty of grassy banks for spectators. In December 2008, the groundstaff came in for a lot of criticism after an entire Test match against West Indies was lost to early rain with the facilities not standing up to the weather. It hosted its first Test match in 2007, becoming New Zealand's seventh venue.


England win 8/13, New Zealand 7/1, Draw 9/4


1991-1992 - Three - England 2-0

1996-1997 - Three - England 2-0

2001-2002 - Three - Drawn 1-1

2007-2008 - Three - England 2-1

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