England kick-start the cricketing summer when they take on face New Zealand in the first of a two-test series against the Black Cats hoping to cement their No.2 status in the test match rankings ahead of the Ashes after an disappointing draw in March.

Joe Root

Where to Watch Live:

You can follow the game live from 11am BST on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. Ball-by-ball commentary will be available on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW and via the BBC Sport web site.


England underperformed on their tour of New Zealand, where they were completely outplayed by the hosts. The world's second-ranked team salvaged a 0-0 draw in the three-match series, thanks to the rain and Matt Prior's stubborn resistance in the third test in Auckland.

However, England enter this match as favourites, given their home advantage and with the Ashes starting in July, Alastair Cook's men will be determined to lay down a marker ahead of the remainder of the summer, given the criticism they received after the draws in the reverse series.

Middle-order batsman Joe Root is England's most in-form man. The 22-year-old from Yorkshire is close to reaching the 1000-run mark this year and had scored 179 against the Kiwis for England Lions in the final tour match last week.

New Zealand, on the other hand, will be looking to prove that their impressive performances in the reverse series were no fluke. Brendon McCullum's side received a massive injury boost earlier this week as seamer Tim Southee, who suffered a foot injury during the practice match, was declared fit for the first test at Lord's.

Peter Fulton, who scored two centuries in the third Test at Auckland, will be keen to follow up that display with a few more big knocks during this tour but will be faced by the returning Graeme Swann, who miss the test series due to elbow sugery.

Last Five Head-To-Head

2013: Third Test, Auckland: Draw
2013: Second Test, Wellington: Draw
2013: First Test, Dunedin: Draw
2008: Third Test, Nottingham: England won by an innings and nine runs
2008: Second Test, Manchester: England won by six wickets

Teams (from):

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steve Finn, Tim Bresnan

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie, , BJ Watling, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Bruce Martin, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner

Umpires: Aleem Dar and Steve Davis