England has ended their drought of Test wins after defeating New Zealand by five wickets on Sunday. The win was very significant as it comes at a time when England has made changes to their coaching structure in a bid to improve their luck on the pitch, which has been quite bad these past months. Particularly, it was their first win under skipper Ben Stokes, coach Brendon McCullum, and director Rob Key.
Former England Test captain, Joe Root, was exceptional as he produced a century, ending the game 115 not out. His stunning performance saw him become the second English cricketer to reach 10,000 Test Runs after Sir Alastair Cook. Root, who stepped down as Test captain some weeks back, was largely responsible for England’s victory. Stokes, the new caption, also contributed to their victory with his half-century, as well as Ben Foakes.
With two more Tests to go, it is too early for England to feel comfortable yet. But their recent victory against the World Test Champions, a team they have lost to the last seven times, would boost their confidence as they go to the pitch for the remaining games. Their play in the first Test was far from perfect, as they only picked up momentum on the last day. But they might be able to review their performance and see what needs to be improved ahead of their next games. Maybe this is the beginning of a new chapter in England Cricket. For now, it remains to be seen.
The next Test starts this Friday, and it is very crucial to how the whole series might end. A win for England would mean that they have won the series, regardless of how the last Test goes. A win for New Zealand would mean that England would have to struggle extra hard in the final Test just to emerge victorious.
Written by: Leon Osamor