Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply
Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply

England v New Zealand First Test Tips

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
New Zealand1st Test Winner9/4Bet365, Ladbrokes
Gary BallanceTop England Batsman9/2Betfred
Kane WilliamsonMan Of The Match12/1Ladbrokes

England are 6/4 favourites (Stan James) to beat New Zealand at Lord’s in the first of a two-Test series starting on Thursday.

The Kiwis, who are available at 9/4 (Bet365, Ladbrokes), are in the better form of the two countries having beaten both the West Indies and Sri Lanka and drawn with Pakistan in the last 12 months. They also have the confidence boost of an outstanding performance at the World Cup, where they lost to Australia in the final.

What they don’t have is a good record in England, where they haven’t won a five-day game since 1999, losing seven of eight Tests in the intervening period. They are, however, on an upward curve.

England’s miserable run continued with a drawn series in the Caribbean, where they had been expected to win, although the form of Gary Ballance and the improvement in Alastair Cook’s scoring were minor positives. Ballance has a Lord’s century against India to his credit from last summer and is the pick to be England’s top scorer at best odds of 9/2 with Betfred.

A more intriguing price, perhaps, is the 12/1 on offer from Ladbrokes for Kane Williamson to be Man of the Match – Williamson scored more than 300 runs in New Zealand’s most recent Test against Sri Lanka, including an unbeaten 242 in the second innings. He had scored 54 and 31 not out in the first match.

Finally, the weather looks to be set fair, which should take the draw (9/4 Ladbrokes, William Hill) out of the equation.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
New Zealand1st Test Winner9/4Bet365, Ladbrokes
Gary BallanceTop England Batsman9/2Betfred
Kane WilliamsonMan Of The Match12/1Ladbrokes