England's 'New Era' Gets Off To Worst Possible Start Against Black Caps

Chris Silverwood's men collapsed as New Zealand wrapped up a crushing first Test win
10:38, 25 Nov 2019

England's 'new era' under Chris Silverwood got off to a humiliating start with a huge innings defeat to New Zealand on Monday.

In Silverwood's first Test in charge following his appointment in place of Trevor Bayliss, England had started well with a strong first two days but then feebly collapsed as a stubborn Kiwi side ground them into submission.

While the two-match series in New Zealand is not part of the ongoing World Test Championship, Silverwood and Root will face a number of questions about their side's performance given the renewed sense of direction in the team selection.

Dominic Sibley was called up for his test debut after the failed experiment of Jason Roy opening during the summer's Ashes series, while Ollie Pope was brought in to bat at six.

But skipper Joe Root, with a new reworked batting stance which made him look more mechanical at the crease, managed to score just 13 runs in two knocks as the home side romped to victory by an innings and 65 runs.

Things appeared to start positively for England in their first innings as Rory Burns and Joe Denly built a steady partnership, with Silverwood’s side showing greater patience at the top of the order. But once Tim Southee found his range the paceman collected four wickets and England were restricted to 353 despite a 91 for Ben Stokes.

New Zealand then overcame a slow start with the bat which had seen them amble to 127-4, with a double century from wicketkeeper BJ Watling and a ton from Mitchell Santner taking them to a declaration with their score at 615-9. 

Having lost three wickets early on in their second innings, England came out on day five with needing to bat through the day to save the test. But captain Root again fell early and Stokes, Pope and Jos Buttler were all dismissed after questionable shot selection given the need to bat long and the tourists were skittled for 197.

Joe Root was upbeat following the defeat, despite his own poor performance individually and the inability of his team to turn good starts with bat and ball into a dominant position.

 "We did a lot of good stuff - we just need to do it for longer. It's different to the style of cricket we've had to play in our home conditions,” he told the BBC.

"We can't panic and think it's the end of the world. We are working hard behind the scenes and if we come back strong, we'll hopefully level it up."

Silverwood will be hoping he can produce a better performance from his side in the second test, which begins at 10 pm GMT on Thursday night in Hamilton.

After that match the team head to South Africa for a four-test series which begins with the Boxing Day Test at Centurion.

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