New Zealand have copied England’s old trick – boosting their ranks with a top-class South African
Devon Conway was born and brought up in Johannesburg and if you are looking for a quality opener that’s as good a place as any to start, says our chief cricket writer Scyld Berry.
Now you can understand how the England players felt during the Brisbane Test in the 1982-3 Ashes. A tough, nuggety South African lefthanded opening batsman crushed the life out of England – for Australia. Kepler Wessels scored 162, twice as much as anyone else on either side, English or Australian, in that Brisbane Test. Beating Australia was possible, the England players thought; beating Australia AND South Africa was not.Similarly, England are discovering that defeating New Zealand, as they have frequently done in the past, is one thing. Completely different is defeating New Zealand when they are reinforced by Devon Conway who, like Wessels, emigrated from South Africa to represent another country. After scoring 200 without being dismissed by a bowler, Conway has given New Zealand every chance of winning the opening Test on an increasingly uneven pitch.
Ollie Robinson to be dropped by England for second Test after racist tweets come to light
Ollie Robinson is likely to be dropped by England for the second Test against New Zealand next week, in the wake of the row over his racist and sexist tweets, reports Nick Hoult.
Robinson impressed in taking two more wickets on his Test debut on Thursday, ending with figures of 4-75, but the England and Wales Cricket Board is understood to be determined to make an example of him as it tries to root out discrimination in cricket.
The ECB launched an investigation into Robinson’s conduct – centering on tweets he sent in 2012 and 2013 which included racist and sexist language – on Wednesday night and is set to drop him from the squad for the second Test, which begins at Edgbaston next Thursday. The investigation could yet lead to him being ruled out of some of the series against India too.
The governing body will also improve its due diligence processes and possibly look to use an external company to vet social media accounts of new players. The ECB plans to step-up its collaboration with the Professional Cricketers Association on education programmes.
And welcome to our live coverage from a mercifully sunny Lord’s on day four of the first test match between England and New Zealand.
The third day was a washout on Friday, increasing the likelihood of a draw. The day’s play was called at around 4.30pm on Friday by umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough without a ball being bowled.
England opener Rory Burns is unbeaten on 59 and captain Joe Root on 42 not out after the hosts reached stumps Thursday on 111-2 in the first innings.
The pair came together at the home of cricket with England in trouble on 18-2 in reply to New Zealand’s 378 that was anchored by Devon Conway’s 200 on his test debut.
Burns will be particularly heartened by his strong start to this series, as coach and selector Chris Silverwood noted that those playing against New Zealand have the chance to state their claim to join the Ashes tour in Australia at the end of the year.
Despite some inconsistent performances opening the batting for his country, Burns has bounced back well from being dropped for two tests in the India series.
After the excellent double century from debutant Devon Conway, the tourists will feel particularly aggrieved by the washout, as they were in a strong position to win the opener.
Bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said this morning: “You always have to believe you can push for a result. It’s not offering a lot of bounce but there is enough for all the bowlers, either spin or seam. It’s a matter of being patient, bowling the way we know we can.”
A total of 98 overs can be bowled on Saturday – when the forecast is better – with the eight extra overs to be added at the end of the day. Play is scheduled to go as late as 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday in an effort to get a result.