Even though England looked uncomfortable for the entirety of the first Test and at one point on the final day looked vulnerable enough to lose, they eventually escaped with a draw. While the manner of the result must have been a cause of concern for the England faithful, the biggest blow was losing pacer Ollie Robinson, who took seven wickets on debut but has since been suspended from all international cricket due to some allegedly sexist and racist tweets dating back almost a decade ago.
The pacer’s fate will be decided in an investigation but for now he will be unavailable for the second Test, which means that one of Olly Stone and Craig Overton could be drafted in.
England batting looked shaky at times over the first Test but the home side are unlikely to make any changes. If anyone’s place could be under threat, it could be Zak Crawley who failed in both the innings.
Among the several positives picked up by New Zealand in the series opener, one was their willingness to find a result even though the match lost one of its five days to rain.
They declared in their second innings at six down and made a genuine attempt to not let the match fall prey to the Gods of draw. Their risk showed promise when England were down two wickets on the final day with 56 on board and their soft underbelly just a blow or two away. But the Kiwis were unable to find those decisive blows and saw the slim door of victory close on them.
One major positive for them was the batting performance of debutant Devon Conway, who scored a double century in the first innings and would have made more, had he not been run out.
So while England have lost their impressive debutant, Kiwis will have theirs in the second Test and that’s advantage for the touring side.