England are finally back in Test action as Ben Stokes’ side take on New Zealand in a two-match series.
Coach Brendon McCullum and captain Stokes haven’t even been in place for a year yet but England have been transformed under their stewardship.
2023 is a huge year for England as Stokes and co prepare for the visit of Australia in the Ashes, which will take place in the summer.
But before that, Tim Southee’s men will prove a very stern opponent, considering they are the current ICC World Test Championship holders.
However, this is a very different England side who blew New Zealand away 3-0 last year at home and have won nine of their last ten Test matches.
Plus, the tourists head into this one off the back of an incredible series win away in Pakistan, so the confidence is flowing as the squad fully embrace ‘Bazball’.
New Zealand v England first Test: How to listen
The first Test between New Zealand and England will be held at the Bay Oval in Tauranga from Thursday, February 16th to Monday, February 20th.
The game is due to start at 2pm local time, which is 1am UK time.
The match is set to be a day/night Test with the sunset in Tauranga at 8:13pm local time.
Uninterrupted EXCLUSIVE ball-by-ball coverage of New Zealand v England will be live on talkSPORT 2.
talkSPORT’s commentary team consists of former England bowler Steve Harmison, former England captain Mike Atherton, former Black Caps Jacob Oram and Frankie Mackay as well as commentators Neil Manthorp, Jon Norman, Dan McHardy and Jarrod Kimber.
To tune in to talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.
You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
England’s tour of New Zealand
Thursday, February 16th to Monday, February 20th, 1am – Bay Oval, Tauranga
Thursday, February 23rd to Monday, February 28th – 10pm – Basin Reserve, Wellington
New Zealand v England first Test: Team news
James Anderson and Stuart Broad have matched Australian greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as the most prolific bowling partnership in Test history.
Warne and McGrath took 1,001 scalps in 104 games together, a record that once looked as though it might stand forever but has been equalled by Anderson and Broad.
They have racked up 1001 dismissals between them in 132 Tests in tandem and Anderson and Broad will fancy themselves to break the record in the second innings.
- Tom Latham
- Devon Conway
- Kane Williamson
- Henry Nicholls
- Daryl Mitchell
- Tom Blundell(wk)
- Michael Bracewell
- Scott Kuggeleijn
- Tim Southee(c)
- Neil Wagner
- Blair Tickner
- Ben Duckett
- Zak Crawley
- Ollie Pope
- Joe Root
- Harry Brook
- Ben Stokes(c)
- Ben Foakes(wk)
- Ollie Robinson
- Stuart Broad
- Jack Leach
- James Anderson
Toss: New Zealand won the toss and decided to field
Officials: Aleem Dar, Christopher Gaffaney, Rodney Tucker, Christopher Brown, David Boon
New Zealand v England first Test: What has been said?
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, England bowler Anderson said: “Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum) have been very, very clear since they took over that they want results. They want to win games.
“We are not 100% sure what the weather’s going to do, so we will have to wait and see but we will be trying to take the positive option whenever we get the chance.
“I have absolutely loved being a part of it. It’s certainly different to what I have experienced in the past.
“It’s been a real journey. Every single player has enjoyed it and everyone’s bought into it and we’re trying to push ourselves forward, and I am sure it’s exciting for people to watch.”