Sky Sports Cricket – Nasser Hussain: Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell clash highlights New Zealand cricket, but Ben Stokes gets it ‘spotted’

Mitchell and Blundell put on a solid 180 as New Zealand ended the day 227-224; English captain Ben Stokes acted as “executor” in search of the fifth wicket; Watch all three from 10.15am on Saturday on Sky Sports Cricket

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Photo: Nasser Hussain believes Ben Stokes has got the call to face England on day two

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Nasser Hussain, who was impressed with the partnership between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell for the first two days of Lord’s, also believes that new England captain Ben Stokes got his call “spotted” when he was looking for the fifth wicket.

Mitchell (97no) and Blundell (90no) put on a partnership of 180, surviving the afternoon and evening in England’s fifth innings, which they could not bring to an end.

For Hussain, the pressure is now on England to show patience with the team coming into tomorrow’s morning session against a familiar side to find ways to fight back in the Test match.

Here’s how New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell battled through the first Test against England with solid batting over two days.

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“The state of play, you’re up against here, what they were like in the first innings when they were 7-3, and that reflects the quality of New Zealand cricket,” Hussain said.

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“They’re not household names, they’re not everyone’s shouts, but they’re tough, tough cricketers, and they’ve got a good, tough schedule – they’re destined for this position.

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“Mitchell may have had a bit of a concussion at Jimmy Anderson’s tackle when he tried to hit him over the top, but he made it back into running position.

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“At the end of the game they wanted to be there, because in the morning with the first front, the ball is new – it’s wide and Anderson can do a little bit, so they play a little better. Everything plays better.”

With the change in pace, new captain Stokes put himself in a pressing role, which provided a short field to try and escape.

The best performances of the first two Tests between England and New Zealand by Lord.

While Hussain doesn’t believe Stokes has been in the role in the past, he believes the midfielder is the only man fit for the job in an England side with a growing injury list, including Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

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“I didn’t believe in the winter because the Ashes camp was round and the Ashes were a rare prize and it happened a little bit and England still won.

“Ben only bowled 12 overs on the Ashes tour for six months. He was injured and had to stop playing for other reasons. His body was already in a mess and it was putting him under a lot of strain. Finally the tour started.

“Mitchell twice went wide for Stuart in the middle, but it wasn’t good – this is a job at the back, you lose a leader, you lose a leader and in the best part.

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“But if you don’t get the wood and you don’t buy the Bow and it’s flat and the 35- and 39-year-old (Matt Parkinson) is now finding his way into Test cricket, who else is going to do it?

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“He told you in an interview, ‘I don’t ask others to do what I don’t do myself,’ and that’s what he showed today – ‘I will do it myself.’

“He’s going to go there looking at him (Parkinson) and going through everything – put your arm down a little bit and see how fast he’s going because he’s the slowest at the moment.”

Assistant coach Paul Collingwood admitted England’s bid to enter a new era under Brendon McCullum remains a “work in progress” after taking charge of New Zealand on day two of the Lord’s Test.

Matthew Potts took the wickets of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham before lunch on day two of the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s.

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“We know that things will not change overnight. It will take time for the team to play the way we want to play. Obviously, we need to make progress,” he said.

“Brendon is the perfect half of the man. He will be calm, he will not change his principles and his beliefs because of one innings, that’s for sure, and neither will Ben.”

“From the first day and the whole evening I went out, both teams got the same score. It’s disappointing that we didn’t go ahead and create a big lead, but if you live in it, it’s not good for the rest of the game. This game is not good enough for us.

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“On our part, we’ve tried everything, and you can see in Ben that we have a very active leader who wants to try different things.”

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One weapon at the captain’s disposal is Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson, who has been brought in from Manchester to replace the injured Jack Leach.

Parkinson, who made his much-anticipated debut after two years on the team’s fringes, failed to create a real threat to the likes of Mitchell and Blundell in 14 years, but the Collingwood spinner felt he had only grown in his game.

“It was definitely a big surprise for him in the afternoon,” Collingwood added.

“Anthem gets on the phone, comes down to London, takes a hat from Jeetan Patel and leaves straight away. There’s no help as hell, but you can see he’s a good leg-spinner, certainly a happy experience.” It is the only home of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Join now and be part of your team’s commitment to boasting the best offer of just £10 per month with no contract for a year.

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