Below is my pick from the early performance points picks in the England v New Zealand series 2nd test that kicks off on Friday.
England v New Zealand
B McCullum Under 40.5 runs @ 1.61 (Bet365) – 3 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
B Watling Under 28.5 runs @ 1.83 (Bet365) – 2.5 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
J Root – 99 & Over Performance Points @ 1.83 (Bet365) – 3 points
Coming into this series there is really only one batsman from England who is in form and can stake a claim to being a reliable batsman in their middle order to score runs but Joe Root. The young Englishman has been promoted to Vice-Captain for England in all 3 formats of the game, and it will be a matter of time, a year or 2 at the max when he will be made captain across all.
Today Joe Root comes into this series knowing that he is England’s most dependable batsman scoring at an average of 55 runs. With a team that includes a middle order of Ballance, Bell, Root, Ali and Stokes; it will clearly depend a lot on Root to hold this innings together. In his last 6 first class innings, he has knocked 50 scores in 6 out of those 6 matches, with high scores. Joe will be looking forward to continue his scoring form as he scored 98 and 84 in the first test match against New Zealand.
Despite the best efforts of Henry, Southee, and Boult; Root was able to survive well, dig in and played almost a match winning performance if it wasn’t for Stokes scoring 2 centuries in the game. Joe Root will expect to be the man coming to the foyer in this series, and the newly named vice captain will surely be looking to showcase his talents once again in this home series as they build up towards the Ashes in July.
Oh and not to forget, he will turn his arm over in the match at some point as he did in the first test, taking a wicket; while also taking 3 catches to land him up for 232 performance points from the first test; and I expect him to continue this rich vain of form.