NZ XI hope to put England on back foot

Last updated 09:44 04/02/2013

Relevant offers

Cricket

Top score, dropped catch, big wicket: all in a bizarre day for Mark Craig New Zealand let down by incorrect no-ball call in final over vs Australia in test Usman Khawaja's snubbing is an issue of fairness but also of symbolism Australia seize control of first cricket test as Black Caps curse their luck Kate Broadmore the only survivor from Central Hinds' last trip to the final Canterbury Magicians cooking-up no fancy tricks for Twenty20 final North Otago on track to end Buller's Hawke Cup fairytale Recap: Black Caps v Australia test one, day one Bowes and Davidson in Canterbury team to play CD English indoor cricket team bowled out for zero chasing 121 for victory

Captain Andy Ellis is challenging his New Zealand XI to put England on the back foot in their tour opener in Whangarei today.

The teams contest a T20, starting at 5pm, though wet weather may play a role. They have a rematch set for the same venue at 2pm on Wednesday.

Ellis, who has also been recalled to the Black Caps squad, sees these warm-ups as a dual opportunity - for New Zealand players to get a look at the English, and to put some early doubts into the tourists' minds.

The Black Caps open their account against the English in the first of three T20s at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday night.

"We have to see ourselves as possibly spoilers for the start of the tour," Ellis said in Whangarei.

"It would be fantastic to put them on the back foot and for the Black Caps to take some momentum from that."

Ellis, newcomer Hamish Rutherford, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, and Ian Butler will all front today and Wednesday, and then slip on their Black Caps uniforms at the weekend.

Ellis said this was a huge opportunity, describing England as "world leaders in most forms of the game" at the moment.

Rutherford will get plenty of attention as he takes a significant step-up in his young and blossoming career.

And there will be plenty of attention on Taylor.

The classy right-hander needs to get back in the groove. He has had a less-than-spectacular return to action with Central Districts after making himself unavailable for the tour of South Africa following his axing as Black Caps skipper.

But Taylor has proven he is a "man for the moment" and the challenge of international cricket will surely invigorate him.

England confirmed skipper Stuart Broad (heel) and Alex Wright (hand) would be fit for action.

Broad has been putting in plenty of bowling in the nets and at open wicket practice since England arrived last week, to test his nagging injury that curtailed his recent tour of India.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content