England’s sensational 5-wicket victory over New Zealand on Tuesday saw them clinch a series win, and now with just one match to go, can England complete the clean sweep?
- What; England v New Zeland; 3rd Test
- Where; Headingley, Leeds, England
- When; June 23rd – June 27th, 2022
- Time; 6 am ET
The third and final Test match of the series takes place at Leeds next week. Another England win gives them a 3-0 series win and with it a clean sweep. Can they do it?
Well, after what happened at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, it would take a brave punter to wager against it!
We did warn you to expect fireworks when England appointed Brendon McCullum as the new Test team coach. But even we didn’t expect to see the sort of results and performances we saw at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) May 11, 2022
For anybody not familiar with the England cricket team of late, let me help you out. They’ve been woeful for the previous 12 months – and that’s being polite!
In the dying days of Joe Root’s captaincy, the England team didn’t look capable of winning a one-horse race with a head start. There was no clarity of thought, no leadership, and quite simply, no idea.
England’s New Dawn
Since the appointment of new captain Ben Stokes, and new coach, Brendon McCullum, there is crisp decisive decision-making, leadership, and most definitely clarity.
At the start of Day 5 of the 2nd Test between these two sides, nearly anybody who follows cricket would have called the match a draw. Even given England’s frailties, surely they couldn’t lose from here?
At lunch, the door was slightly open to a positive result. New Zealand had been bowled out, and England was 36/1. New Zealand had two sessions to bowl England out, while England had two sessions to get the remaining near 260 runs for victory. The draw is still the clear favorite.
But even at lunch, England had given a glimpse of what was on their minds. Usually, in those match situations, a team would play for lunch. England didn’t. They went for their shots, scoring 36 runs in 9 overs.
So, already England’s new mindset was on view. And remember, these are largely the same players who struggled in the West Indies earlier this year, and got thrashed out of sight in Australia across the Christmas to new year period. The same, apparently useless players!
In the second session, England chugged along nicely but crucially lost another 3 wickets. At Tea, they were 139/4. Just over 100 runs were scored in the second session. There’s nothing special about that!
What Happened in the Tea Break?
Quite what was discussed during the Tea break, or more to the point, what was put in the tea, I don’t know!
England came out, and Jonny Bairstow in particular just went crazy. They went from 139/4 after 34 Overs, to 299/5 after 50 Overs. It was remarkable batting. Scoring an astonishing 160 runs in 16 Overs.
England's new era promised entertainment, and they sure delivered!
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) June 14, 2022
That’s a T20 scoring rate, and a good one at that!
This is where the word clarity comes into the equation. England probably knew they would lose batting out for a draw. So England had a simple plan; if we’re going to lose, then go down fighting.
That clarity wouldn’t have been there under the previous regime. We would have had a mixture of some guys going for their shots, and some guys blocking. That scrambled mindset has now gone, and England knows what its game plan now is.
It will go wrong at times, but it will certainly be entertaining, and this style will have opponents worried. As is what happened to New Zealand in the 2nd Test.
England v New Zealand; 3rd Test Betting
The top cricket betting sites all make England the favorites to win the third Test and complete a clean sweep. England is -110 to win the 3rd Test. The draw is +310, and New Zealand is +230.
|England v New Zealand 3rd Test Betting|
Unfortunately, there are no odds available on top run-scorer yet, but with Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow all in good form, that promises to be an open market.
With England having a license to attack, and attack being Jonny Bairstow’s main strength, Bairstow has to be one of my betting picks to be top run-scorer in the 3rd Test at Headingley next week.
The odds on top batter do tend to be long enough to allow yourself a backup bet, and here I would go for Ollie Pope. Although, it is a toss-up between Pope and Root.
And what of the match result betting? We’ve priced up the three-way market above, but two-way without the draw is also available.
Unless it rains though, I don’t see a draw. So if the weather next week looks good, I’d go with the three-way market for the better odds on an England win.
The more astute readers will have just noticed I gave my pick for the match away already. Yes, I am picking England to win the 3rd Test. It’s no secret.
It’s also true that New Zealand, the current World Test Champions, haven’t become a bad side overnight.
Yes, they are capable of beating England. But in its current form, you can’t ignore England.
They’ve won the opening two Test matches from positions you wouldn’t have normally given them a chance to win from. That’s why they are the only real pick option here.