S TUART BROAD and James Anderson are as good a bowling partnership as there is in world cricket at the moment.
Broad was England’s man of the match in their first Test victory against New Zealand at Lord’s last week, and rightly took the plaudits as he claimed a match-winning haul of seven wickets and helped reduce the tourists to 68 all-out in their second innings.
But fast bowlers tend to come in pairs and as sides go today, in conditions that show any assistance at all to seam, Broad and Anderson are as strong as they come.
Anderson was unbelievable, he showed great control and bowled beautifully. Broad is not as consistent, but when he gets it right he is a real handful.
There was some criticism of England after the first day where they scored slowly, but the batsmen simply played to the conditions.
New Zealand, and Tim Southee in particular, bowled very well. Our boys played the conditions to try and get into a match-winning position.
Steven Finn didn’t bowl badly or do anything wrong, but I’m sure Tim Bresnan will get a game before the Ashes and that could well be in the second and final Test of the series, which begins at his home ground Headingley on Friday.
It would be a bit arrogant to say we can win without Finn. But Bresnan will certainly get a game sooner rather than later because if there is an injury picked up during the Ashes series the selectors will want to know whether the Yorkshireman is fit and in good nick again after his elbow injury.
All of England’s batsmen got in and out at Lord’s, so it would be nice to see someone spend time at the crease and get a big score. Perhaps one of the younger lads like Joe Root or Jonny Bairstow.
The Headingley pitch can be very flat, so I can see England getting a big total and I’d give New Zealand absolutely no chance of winning.
Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who has also been captain and chairman of Warwickshire.