- England resumed needing 113 to secure series whitewash
- Southee removes Pope in first over to give tourists hope
- Blistering 71* from Bairstow ensures England romp home by seven wickets
- England series ratings: Who is the only weak link?
In just over three weeks, Ben Stokes has achieved what Joe Root and Chris Silverwood could not manage in three years. He has given England’s approach to Test cricket a distinct identity.
No captain has stamped a mark on the England team as quickly, or revolutionised their style so completely in such a short time. Moments after the seven-wicket win against New Zealand that confirmed a 3-0 whitewash, England’s first in a home series of more than two matches since 2011, Stokes paid tribute to Eoin Morgan, who retires on Tuesday, and acknowledged he borrowed heavily from his rule book. Morgan revolutionised England in one series – also against New Zealand, seven years ago – with his dead-eyed approach to how he wanted his team to play.
Those with Test ambitions now have the same clarity of job description: bat positively, look to score or bowl attacking lengths. It is the Australian way preached by two south islanders from New Zealand.
It should take longer than 25 days (14 of cricket) to bed in a new regime, but Brendon McCullum, the head coach, and Stokes are such clear communicators. There is no waffle, and insiders reveal they actually say very little, but choose their moments and speak in words every player understands.
Circumstances have helped. Pitches have been flat and this summer’s Dukes balls are not swinging (hence 15 ball changes in the series). New Zealand are a team who have lost direction since winning the Test championship and whereas England backed their spinner, Kane Williamson dropped Ajaz Patel after one Stokes onslaught at Lord’s and picked a bits-and-pieces off-spinner in Michael Bracewell, who went at nearly six an over.
Despite the surfaces, England took 60 wickets, bowling fuller lengths, and Stokes’s tactical smartness was matched with the courage of his convictions, refusing to panic and pushing back the fields whenever someone went after Jack Leach or a seamer. England batted at 4.54 an over across three Tests, the highest in a home series since the 2005 Ashes, and that was not just inflated by the second innings at Trent Bridge. They scored at 4.36 an over in the first innings of Tests, too. Opponents know they have to bowl England out quickly or they will make a massive score. We are still to see how they will approach batting first in a Test, but it is unlikely to change. India next week will be bolder than New Zealand.
To become the first team to chase down three scores of more than 250 in a series underlines the Morgan influence. The Stokes-McCullum effect is best seen through the fact this is almost the same group of players who crumbled under the merest hint of pressure in the West Indies in March. This time they rallied at difficult moments.
New Zealand had their chances. They were only five down and 242 ahead in their second innings at Lord’s when Stuart Broad inspired a collapse. At Trent Bridge they made 550 in their first innings. In Leeds, England were 56 for six in reply to 329. But each time England responded and New Zealand blinked first.
The pivotal moment was on the Saturday evening of the Lord’s Test when Stokes’s skittish innings ended and England were five down and 128 short of their 277 target.
Root took control with Ben Foakes, commanding a 50-run stand in which the wicketkeeper scored just eight. England needed 73 the next day and Root eased them home and gave the team belief. It ended a run of one win in 17 matches, and paved the way for the run chases to follow (299 and 296).
Stokes batted at a strike rate of 82.55 – higher than in any other series before of more than two games – and while it was frantic at times, this was about showing the way. He will adapt when necessary.
He lived up to his word that his England would be “entertainers” and the public have embraced a team playing with such verve. A full house on day five at Trent Bridge would have been matched at Headingley were it not for rain.
It was notable that Zak Crawley was given full throated backing by McCullum after a series average of 14.5. The players know the management have their back. In return, Stokes demands selflessness. It is hard to imagine this management forcing the players to sit through video footage of their dismissals in the same way England did in Adelaide. Move on and do not dwell on failure.
Jack Leach’s first 10-wicket haul was not because he has improved dramatically as a bowler, but because he was backed. England have told him he can be their Nathan Lyon, which means accepting he will have bad or anonymous games. “I’ve never experienced anything like it,” he said. It showed.
The hunches have paid off: moving Ollie Pope to three and Jonny Bairstow to five despite pre-series doubts. Pope had never batted at three and Bairstow’s record at five was poorer than any other position.
Bairstow came within two balls of scoring England’s quickest ever hundred and fired the fastest Test fifty in this country at Headingley. He has had long chats with the coach, but Stokes says the message has been simple: relax. “Baz [McCullum] says to him, come and sit next to me and do your sudoku.”
There was never any doubt England would complete their third run chase. They needed 113 to win and did it in just over an hour and 15.3 overs, once rain had cleared. They lost Pope in the first over for 82, bowled by Tim Southee, but it just made the end come quicker. Bairstow muscled a 30-ball fifty and blasted 71 off 44 balls.. In doing so he denied Root the chance of a hundred; instead unbeaten with a classy 86 off 125 balls that included flashes of funkiness too.
Bairstow finished it with a six off Bracewell. How else?
England secure series whitewash at Headingley - as it happened
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"We try to strip things down, cut out the noise. Try to get these guys closer together. My role is to force the guys together, reinforce the skipper's messaging.
"It is a pretty simple game. You get a finite period of time to play it. You can get caught up in a fear of failure rather than enjoying going out and playing for your country. We can have robust conversations. In terms of aggression I think Ben might even have me covered. Last night he was saying, let's knock them off tonight. It's only seven an over, and we can get an extra half hour.
"Ben has been absolutely outstanding," McCullum said on Sky Sports. "He's clearly a leader the guys want to follow."
"Not everyone has a successful day every day but the thing is to support people and encourage them to go out and do it whatever."
"I don't coach technique. I coach tactics.
"We will make our plans for India tomorrow. But moments like this don't come around very often and we will enjoy it. It's only quarter past three so we will have to get through tonight first.
"It was an honour to come and coach England. The game I love is Test cricket, and it could have a chance not just to survive but to thrive. England is probably the one nation that can allow that. So if we can inspire the next generation not just to choose cricket but to choose Test cricket...
"I think it is a pretty simple game. Sometimes I think we can get caught up in the fear of failure and maybe try to protect something rather than actually enjoying the opportunity you've got to represent your country.
"That's one thing that I'm very strong on and if you can always bring it back to that then your messaging can be based around that and be very clear.
"I like to ensure there's plenty of clarity. If you've got that clarity and clear understanding, and you build those relationships, you can have the robust conversations when required."
"Morgan will go down as one of the most influential figures in world cricket. It's not just how he influence England's cricket but other teams as well. Jos, Ben, they are international superstars, and they did that under Eoin."
"Has gone really well. 3-0 win over the best team in the world. When I took over it was about more than results. We want to change the mindset of playing Tests: to go out, have fun, enjoy representing your country.
"Being 55-6 here and then doing what we have done is very pleasing. It would have been easy to go into our shells. It is about more than us guys at the moment it is about the guys that come into the team in the future."
"As to India, trust me when I say that even though it is a different opponent we will be coming out with exactly the same mindset."
"It has been an incredible series. We have had our opportunities in all three matches. But when the English were put under pressure they counter-attacked and they did that well. Frustrating. But there are a lot of positives.
"They were good in all areas, they won those fine margins, those moments that spin the momentum. We opted for balance for the team selection. The ball was seaming today. We hoped to create more opportunities but it wasn't to be. Our top four didn't contribute enough. There are areas to get better.
"I love this group, it has been an interesting time getting back to fitness. But the appetite is still there."
Daryl Mitchell is New Zealand's player of the series
"Obviously we wanted to come here and win but I am proud of the efforts of the boys. Really proud to be part of the group. Trying to enjoy each moment. Nature of international cricket now is that you are adapting to new formats each time.
"Great to play well at Lord's, historic."
Joe Root is England's player of the series
Nominated by the NZ coach.
Joe: "The way Jonny is playing at the moment, you just want to get him on strike!. It is like 50 over stuff. I am sure everyone is really enjoying watching him at home, we certainly are. He is a phenomenal player and it is great to see him showing the world that. I cannot see many guys enjoying being at the mark when he's playing like today.
"You just try to play what is in front of you. Great to see guys playing at ease, with confidence. We are all loving playing. It has been a rocky road for a while for the Test team so you enjoy this. We will celebrate properly. We are great mates in this team.
"I think we should leave what has happened where it is. And look at what we are doing now. Loving being a part of this."
One of the great things about this series is the guys seem to keep getting more and more confident, and more and more at ease with how they want to go about things.
"It's such fun to play in and be part of. For Ben to start how he has under Brendon - we're all loving playing it and it's great.
"If you can't enjoy a series like this then what do you play for?"
Jack Leach wins the player of the match
"Great memories from 2019 here. But getting the win here maybe goes above that. It looked dry at the start here, Stokesy said to me, this is going to spin. So pressure on! I think Jonny deserves this as well, the way he played from 50-6. It is nice to get into the game for any bowler, to take a wicket early is always good."
England's red ball reset is off to a flyer
The first time in Test history that a team has chased 250-plus three games in a row.
In previous guises, England would have found 296 a serious proposition. And today, losing a well-set batsmen in the first over, they could easily have wobbled on their way to the 113 they needed. But Bairstow just came in and mullered the ball everywhere. It never felt remotely in doubt that England would win this, and that is quite something.
England win by seven wickets
They began the day needing 113, and once they got on the park after the morning session, they needed just an hour and a bit to do it. Bairstow finishes on 71 off just 44 balls. Root 86*.
England win the three match series 3-0. They'd won 1 in 17 prior to this, and they have whitewashed the World Champs.
OVER 53: ENG 286/3 (Root 86* Bairstow 61*)
Root providing a masterclass in sweeping here. Hands out in front, head down, and able to pick the angle at which he manipulates the spinner. A nicely struck four and a single.
Just ten runs needed now. England have scored 103 runs in an hour since we eventually got going at 1.30pm.
OVER 51: ENG 275/3 (Root 80* Bairstow 60*)
Bairstow reverse sweeps, and does not get it quite right. The ball pops up - off his glove? Or forearm? - and is caught. Given not out. NZ review. And they lose their final review because that was indeed the forearm.
Bracewell long hop in there and Bairstow gives that the treatment as well.
OVER 48: ENG 251/3 (Root 77* Bairstow 40*)
Blameless from Southee this morning in what now looks a hopeless cause. And luckless, too: he nips one back to Bairstow, who defends and nearly chops on to his stumps. Nice shot from Root in here as he fetches one from outside off to the legside fence.
12 off that over as England charge towards the target. Bairstow's needed just 25 balls for that 40... IT Botham's 28-ball fifty in Delhi might be up for grabs, the England record.
OVER 47: ENG 239/3 (Root 72* Bairstow 33*)
Brace yourself, Michael Bracewell. The part-time twirlyman is into the attack. Baristow greets him by battering the first ball away for four. Hard sweep for three next ball, gets a bit lucky as he top edges over the keeper. Root down early to ramp the ball for one. England looking to score of every delivery. Bairstow down the pitch, done a bit in the flight and he gloves it. They scamper an ill-gotten one.
Nine off the over, Bracewell given no quarter, no chance to settle.
OVER 46: ENG 230/3 (Root 71* Bairstow 25*)
Good bit of fielding on the fence from Boult keeps Root to two. Now Root gets down again for another reverse scoop! Doesn't quite find the gap this time. Five off the Southee over.
That game bit of fielding from Trent Boult not enough to get him back in the skipper's good books, I'm afraid. Kane tells him to go and have a blow. It will be Bracewell to bowl the next over.
OVER 43: ENG 209/3 (Root 65* Bairstow 15*)
It's World XI at one end, and Ilford Seconds at the other right now, as they used to say about Sir Richard Hadlee and NZ. Boult not backing Southee up at all, spraying it hither and yon. Chuntering and losing his rag. Legside, two runs. Square drives for four. Come on Trent. Produces one good ball in the over but needs to raise his game without delay.
OVER 42: ENG 202/3 (Root 65* Bairstow 8*)
Southee to Root. Excellent first ball - the same line as the one that did for Pope, but this one holds its line. Perhaps thinking about the one that got Pope, Root figures he has to play, and is beaten. Root beaten all ends up by the third ball of the over as well. Survives the maiden.
OVER 41: ENG 202/3 (Root 65* Bairstow 8*)
Trent Boult. That's a poor start from him, by his own standards. Around the wicket, short and wide outside off. Root helps himself. Next ball: also short and wide. Root spanks that away as well. Four, four. Now a single. And Bairstow's in on the act straight away! Onto the pads, Bairstow tucks that away for four. And now YJB up on his toes to guide the last delivery away for four behind square and that makes 17 off the over.
OVER 40: ENG 185/3 (Root 56* Bairstow 0*)
That came off the fifth ball of the day. Each batsman had a single prior to that. Kumar Sangakkara on commentary: "Sometimes as a batter you just have to say well bowled, and that was one such."
The wicket of Pope brings Bairstow to the crease, a very warm cheer from the crowd for the local man.
The players are out on the pitch
The Kiwi bowlers are going through their warm ups. Tim Southee and Trent Boult, as you would expect, are to the fore. They always used to say "look up not down at Headingley" but even with plenty of cloud cover and moisture about, you would be surprised if this 40-over-old Duke ball did a massive amount. Still, NZ have two very fine swing bowlers so we will have to see.
England's World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan is set to announce his retirement from international cricket.
The PA news agency understands Morgan, 35, will officially call time on his England career on Tuesday, with Jos Buttler primed to take over as skipper of the Twenty20 and ODI teams.
Morgan, who oversaw the transformation of England's white-ball side from also-rans in 2015 to 50-over world champions at Lord's four years later, has been struggling for form and fitness in recent times.
He led a one-day series in the Netherlands this month but his duel issues were exposed as he was dismissed twice for nought in high-scoring matches before missing the concluding game with a groin niggle.
Morgan had hoped to stay the course long enough for one last tilt at the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia this October, a final shot at unifying cricket's two biggest trophies, but he has now accepted his time is up.
Buttler's first assignment will be a high-profile series against India, comprising three T20s and three ODIs starting on July 7, before the same against South Africa.
Dublin-born Morgan began his international career with his native Ireland in 2006 but switched his allegiance to England in 2009, citing a lifelong desire to play Test cricket.
The left-hander went on to play 16 Tests, scoring two centuries, but did not cement a place in the five-day side and went on to be seen as a limited-overs specialist.
As a sparkling and innovative stroke-maker he was ahead of his time and was catapulted into the captaincy when Sir Alastair Cook was sacked on the eve of the 2015 World Cup.
The tournament was a debacle, with England knocked out in the group stages, but Morgan was identified by then director of cricket Sir Andrew Strauss as the man to reboot an ailing team.
Taking the driving seat alongside new head coach Trevor Bayliss, who acted more as a facilitator for Morgan's ideas, he ushered in a new generation of players and established England as the standard bearers for attacking limited-overs cricket.
The project culminated in dramatic fashion at the home of cricket in 2019, with Ben Stokes' heroics and a tied super over against New Zealand in the World Cup final, as England triumphed on boundary countback.
The success cemented Morgan's place among the pantheon of English sport's greatest leaders but he also leaves a considerable legacy as a player. He retires as the country's record one-day and T20 run-scorer, posting 6,957 and 2,458 in the respective formats.
A Yorkshireman speaks!
M'colleague Rob Bagchi, born and bred in God's own etc etc, makes the following assessment of the prospects today:
"Can't see England missing the chance here. Not the way they were batting last night. The Kiwis look spent, magnificent though Boult and Southee were. If it swings under the clouds maybe they'll have a chance but these new Dukes are no good."
Jack Leach progress
Jack has picked up 10 wickets in this match. Couldn't happen to a nicer lad by all accounts. Here, Tim Wigmore looks at the progress of the man who has become England's de facto main spinner.
Eoin Morgan news
A wee update from another corner of England's cricketing garden. Eoin Morgan, who has been so instrumental in England's journey from white-ball also-rans into arguably the dominant force in the formats, made leave his post as skipper.
Tim Wigmore has the story on that one, including news of Morgan's possible replacements...
Day five at Leeds
Good morning and welcome to our live blog of England vs New Zealand, it's the third Test of the series of course and we will very likely see a result today. England resume at Headingley on 183/2, in pursuit of 296 to win. The men not out overnight are Joe Root, 55*, and Ollie Pope, 81*. England have scored at a good clip so far, taking just 39 overs to assemble that score, for the loss of Alex Lees and Zak Crawley. The latter ran out the former.
A great deal has been said and written about England's red ball reset and the installation of Ben Stokes as captain and Brendon McCullum as coach. Certainly this series could hardly have gone better. Thrilling cricket, and wins from positions that looked really tough. If they win this Test today, having been 55/6 replying to 329, it'll be another magnificent win.
I do personally have a nagging suspicion that New Zealand are something of a tailor-made opponent for England. England have tended to struggle against teams with high pace, wrist or mystery spin, and plenty of aggressive, abrasive characters in their ranks who can bully some of our gentler souls. The Kiwis have none of the above, and you do also wonder about the McCullum factor, having a legend of your game coaching (and strategising) against you. Still. They came here as World Test champs and, in all likelihood, they go home having been whitewashed 3-0, and you cannot say fairer than that from the England POV.
We'll explore the new era, how it's going, and what it all means throughout the morning. Play is scheduled to start at 11am but there is some rain around in Leeds. The forecast for later in the day is better so we should, at some point, be seeing an England win. If you reckon the Kiwis can take the eight wickets, you can back that around 22/1. The draw about 20/1.