Johnny Bairstow and Joe Root came together when England lost Ollie Pope to Tim Southee’s gaffer. Bairstow kept attacking the best bowler of New Zealand, Trent Boult. He raced to his fifty in 30 balls and ended up scoring 71 runs in 44 balls.
Joe Root scored 86 runs off 125 balls and remained not out. He would have anticipated a century but Bairstow blitz denied him that opportunity. If New Zealand looked at Michael Bracewell as an able replacement to Mitchell Santner or Colin de Grandhomme, he proved to be not at all effective.
He is the man who leaked runs in first innings when Trent Boult fired on all cylinders. He couldn’t control in second innings too. Normally, any team chasing more than 250 in fourth innings would be feeling nervous. England managed to chase them down thrice.
But fifth bowler problem did not allow New Zealand to tighten up the screws. Michael Bracewell got the job and he gave away 60 runs in 8 overs in second innings of second Test. Gave away 54 runs for 1 wicket in 7 overs in first innings of third and gave away 109 runs for one wicket in 15.2 overs in the second innings.
He did well only in the first innings second Test where he took 3 wickets for 62 runs in 17.2 overs. Either they need someone like Mitchell Santner back in the side who can bowl better lines or they just need Colin de Grandhomme to continue until they find an able replacement for all-rounder spot. Bracewell didn’t seem capable.
Even batting wise New Zealand depended on Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell more than any others. Kane Williamson and Tom Latham were not consistent. England found Johnny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes coming good along with dependable old horse Joe Root. Openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley did not play well but England seemed stronger with bat than New Zealand with middle order contributions. James Anderson, Stuart Broad seems to have one more or even better two more seasons to go before they think about retirement.
On the whole, this series seemed like a nice beginning for Coach Brendon McCullum and after many frustrating losses on foreign soil, England found winning ways at Home. It would be hard to face them for Indian team on 1st July.