Dom Sibley set for England test debut against New Zealand

Dom Sibley scored over 1,000 Championship runs last season
Dom Sibley scored over 1,000 Championship runs last season

Dom Sibley will make his England debut in the first Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.

Joe Root was tight-lipped about the XI in his final press conference on Wednesday but, a couple of hours later, England confirmed they will be unchanged from the side that drew a three-day warm-up in Whangarei last week.

Sibley - who was the only batsman in Division One of the County Championship to go past 1,000 runs this year - will therefore partner Rory Burns at the top of the order.

Joe Denly opened alongside Burns in the final Ashes Test but will now move down a place to number three which allows Root to occupy his preferred position of four.

Root's batting average before taking the England captaincy stood at 52.8 from 53 Tests but that figure shrinks to 40.81 in the 33 matches he has been at the helm.

The Yorkshireman said: "No, I'm not concerned by it. I know I've not performed as I'd have liked in previous series - probably over the last year - but they are the challenges you face as an international player.

"It could have been exactly the same if I wasn't captain. I've gone away and worked on a few things and think my game is in good order coming into this series.

"That's all part and parcel. I've been through it before at different points of my career when I probably under-performed in my own mind.

"But I feel like a strong enough character, I still have the desire and desperation, to get back to where I was a couple of years ago and hopefully beyond that."

England's decision to stick with an unchanged side from their second practice match means Ollie Pope will make only his third Test appearance and his first in 15 months.

The left-arm angle of Sam Curran has seen him given the nod ahead of Chris Woakes while Jofra Archer is set for his first Test match overseas following an epic summer in which he starred in the World Cup and Ashes.

New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson, like Archer capable of exceeding 90mph on a regular basis, will be kept waiting for his Test debut.

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson confirmed the tried and trusted trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner are the frontline seam options at the Bay Oval.

"It's great to have so many guys in the environment that are very much raring to go and all offering different things," Williamson said.

"The three that we've gone with are guys that have been in the group for a long period of time and performed really well for us. I know they're looking forward to getting back into Test cricket."

Williamson, whose side have won five and drawn one of their last six Test series, was adamant that including Ferguson in an attempt to offset Archer was not something he was willing to countenance.

Williamson added: "Don't get me wrong, the excitement of having a guy in our camp that can bowl at such high speed is very attractive.

"Jofra's obviously been outstanding for England but you don't just look at mirroring the opposition."

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Anthony Joshua celebrates after beating Andy Ruiz Jr1

Joshua secures unanimous points win

Anthony Joshua survived a desert storm to wrest back his world heavyweight titles with a unanimous points win over Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arena.

The London National field during the early stages2

Seven banned as Sandown race void

The concluding Betfair London National at Sandown was declared a void race and 10-day riding bans handed out to seven jockeys.

Marcus Rashford scores his penalty against Manchester City3

United stun City in the derby

Liverpool were handed another huge boost in the race for the Premier League title after Manchester United stunned derby rivals Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

4

O'Sullivan withdraws from Masters

Ronnie O'Sullivan has announced that he will not take part in The Masters next month, but contradicted World Snooker's statement explaining his absence.

Battle is joined at the last in the Tingle Creek5

Ed Chamberlin: Rollercoaster ride

Our columnist reflects on a day of high drama on and off the track at Sandown and Aintree including Defi Du Seuil's Tingle Creek win.

Most Read

Anthony Joshua celebrates after beating Andy Ruiz Jr1

Joshua secures unanimous points win

Anthony Joshua survived a desert storm to wrest back his world heavyweight titles with a unanimous points win over Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arena.

The London National field during the early stages2

Seven banned as Sandown race void

The concluding Betfair London National at Sandown was declared a void race and 10-day riding bans handed out to seven jockeys.

Marcus Rashford scores his penalty against Manchester City3

United stun City in the derby

Liverpool were handed another huge boost in the race for the Premier League title after Manchester United stunned derby rivals Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

4

O'Sullivan withdraws from Masters

Ronnie O'Sullivan has announced that he will not take part in The Masters next month, but contradicted World Snooker's statement explaining his absence.

Battle is joined at the last in the Tingle Creek5

Ed Chamberlin: Rollercoaster ride

Our columnist reflects on a day of high drama on and off the track at Sandown and Aintree including Defi Du Seuil's Tingle Creek win.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Sunday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Top Notch her best Sunday bet and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Magic the trick

David Ord is in the nap hotseat on Sunday and expects to see a Kerry Lee hurdler return to winning ways.

Ballydine in winning action at Sandown

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in December 2019.

Next Race Off

02:39 Delta Downs
8
(8)
Saber Queen
J: Joel Dominguez
7
(7)
Two With A Ten
J: Thomas Pompell
9
(9)
Candy Candy Candy
J: C J McMahon

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League Sunday preview package and free tips

Sunday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Sunday's Premier League games with George Pitts providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Check out our Premier League preview for Monday Night Football

Gunner get Hammered?

Arsenal will be hoping to end a torrid run as they make the short trip to West Ham for Monday Night Football. George Pitts previews the action.

Ballydine in winning action at Sandown

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in December 2019.