James Anderson claimed Brendon McCullum's England have changed the way the world views Test cricket as they closed in on a series win over South Africa.

McCullum has introduced a thrilling style since taking over as England's red-ball coach in May, leading the side to a whitewash of New Zealand and a terrific chase victory over India at Edgbaston. 

While South Africa dealt the coach-captain duo of McCullum and Ben Stokes their first Test match defeat last month, the hosts are on the brink of completing a 2-1 series triumph over the tourists after impressing with both ball and bat at The Oval on Sunday.

England will require just 33 runs to wrap up a fourth consecutive series win over the Proteas when the decisive third Test resumes on Monday, and Anderson is relishing their revival. 

"It's been amazing, I'll be honest, Baz [McCullum] has been a breath of fresh air. He's come in and it just feels positive, there's a positive atmosphere in that dressing room," Anderson told Sky Sports.

"The messages he sends about going out there and trying to entertain, everyone's bought into it. Some days it hasn't paid off, but when it has, it's spectacular. 

"It's changed the way not only some of the players have thought about Test cricket, but maybe even the way the world thinks about Test cricket. 

"Hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow. Still 33 runs to get on a tricky wicket, we'll just try and get it done as professionally as we can."

With 667 wickets in the format, Anderson is the third most prolific bowler in Test cricket history, behind Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708).

He was joined in the top five of that illustrious list by Stuart Broad on Sunday, as his three dismissals moved him clear of Glenn McGrath with 566 red-ball wickets.

 

Anderson was delighted by his team-mate's achievement, adding: "It means a lot to him because of how high he held Glenn in his eyes.

"So for him to go past him, it means a lot to him and shows the amount of work he's put in, the dedication to his job, and his skill as well. It's a pleasure to bowl at the other end."

Having benefited from the decision to stop play for bad light when South Africa were on top on Saturday, England were left frustrated after not being given the opportunity to finish the visitors off a day later.

Despite his annoyance at the umpire's decision to call time, Anderson remains confident England will see the match through on Monday, adding: "It's obviously frustrating from our point of view, because the rate we were scoring at, we might only have needed another five or six overs. 

"The guys were seeing the ball pretty well and with a good crowd in here it would have been nice to finish it. 

"The point of view of the umpires is they took a reading yesterday, that's the precedent for the whole game, and I think their message was if it rained all day tomorrow it would be unfair on South Africa to get the game done today.

"It's frustrating, but hopefully we'll come back and get the job done.

"I'd like to think that common sense would prevail. At the minute, the reading is the precedent for the rest of the game, but in certain situations you do think common sense could come into play."

Ben Stokes promised England would not back down from their attacking approach against South Africa after rival captain Dean Elgar questioned the team's 'Bazball' tactics.

New England skipper Stokes has enjoyed four consecutive victories in the long format since taking over leadership duties from Joe Root, with three coming against New Zealand and one against India.

Now three Tests against South Africa await, with the first beginning at Lord's on Wednesday before further assignments at Old Trafford and The Oval.

Proteas skipper Elgar told Wisden Cricket Monthly he did not see "longevity in brave cricket", suggesting England could easily have been left "with egg on their faces" against New Zealand.

"Look, the opposition seem to be doing a lot of the talking about it at the moment," Stokes said on Tuesday.

"We don't really speak about it that much, we just concentrate on what we do. We've got a style of play, they've got a style of play, and at the end of the day it's bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is more than likely to win."

England's approach has been nicknamed 'Bazball' because the lusty hitting of Jonny Bairstow has been so integral to the success. For each win in the current run, England have pulled off impressive fourth-innings chases, going almost gung-ho at times. Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum have encouraged the positivity.

Stokes hopes the England team "hasn't lost its venom", given it has been six weeks since the last Test, with record wicket-taker James Anderson turning 40 in the meantime.

Asked for how long Anderson might play on, Stokes said: "He's still 20 in my eyes, so 60 maybe, who knows."

With a hint of mischief in his eyes, Stokes responded to a question of whether he might also play on in Tests until the age of 40 by saying: "I'd absolutely love to."

Anderson's long-time pace partner Stuart Broad is one shy of becoming the second bowler to take 100 Test wickets at Lord's, with Anderson's 116 leading the way.

Elgar was not inclined to return to the topic of 'Bazball', saying: "Mudslinging is a thing of the past for me, and we're not going to go back and forth any more about that."


England chase four in a row against South Africa

England have won each of their last three multi-game men's Test series against South Africa, so they will hope Stokes' strong start as leader continues over the coming weeks. Root made 190 and Moeen Ali took 10 wickets in the match when England crushed South Africa by 211 runs at Lord's in July 2017, ending a six-match winless run (D2, L4) in games against the Proteas at the London ground.

Elgar looks to pace to pummel England

South Africa are unbeaten in four series (W3, D1) since a 2-0 defeat to Pakistan in February last year, so they are not lacking in confidence. Elgar is prepared for moments of England dominance and says South Africa can ride that out.

He said: "I know somewhere they're going to have periods in the game where they're going to be on top of us, no doubt, and we're going to have to find a way to adapt to that situation. I'd like to think from a bowling point of view, our bowlers are big, tall, fast and strong. We want it hard, we want it really tough, and hopefully the results go our way."

India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

Siraj halts hosts' progress

With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

England might need another act of Jonny Bairstow heroism to dig them out of a deep hole at Edgbaston after India made the home side suffer on a rain-hit second day of the fifth Test.

In a wild morning session, India went from 338-7 to 416 all out, Ravindra Jadeja completing a century by moving from 83 to 104 before being bowled by James Anderson.

India scored a world-record 35 runs from one Stuart Broad over as captain Jasprit Bumrah took centre stage with the bat. Bumrah is better known for his work with the ball, and the skipper then reduced England to 44-3 when he sent back Alex Lees, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope.

After a two-hour rain break, the third such interruption of the innings, England lost former skipper Joe Root for 31, and nightwatchman Jack Leach followed, with Bairstow (12 not out) and captain Ben Stokes (0 no) together at the close. England were 84-5 at stumps, nowhere near where they hoped to be in the contest.

India are 2-1 ahead in this series, one that began last year but had to be curtailed before the fifth Test got under way due to COVID-19 concerns in the tourists' ranks. This long-delayed match is therefore decisive, with England needing a victory to force a drawn series.

Rather than go after the win, avoiding a heavy defeat could become the priority, but at this stage the hosts will still believe they can salvage this situation, given positivity is flowing through the team after the recent 3-0 rout of New Zealand.

Broad had a rotten morning, entering the record books in unwanted fashion when Bumrah set about his bowling. The previous Test record of 28 runs from an over was obliterated, aided by Broad bowling a high wide that raced to the boundary before being clubbed for six off a no-ball.

Bumrah finished on 31 not out when Broad held a catch off James Anderson (5-60) to remove Mohammed Siraj in the next over.

Three rain delays affected England's reply, but the batting was not up to scratch. The most damaging dismissal was surely that of Root to a snorter of a delivery that climbed rapidly into the batsman, drawing a thin edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Now Bairstow, whose past three Test scores have been 136, 162 and 71 not out, will aim to lead a recovery effort alongside the skipper.


Anderson at it again

It still defies belief that England's previous regime looked ready to discard Anderson. He might turn 40 later this month, but few seamers in world cricket can rival his skill, and India again found him so difficult to play. A 32nd five-wicket haul of his Test career was his sixth against India.

England have done it before, so can they do it again?

England hardly need to look far back in the history books for inspiration. In the third Test against New Zealand, they were 55-6 in their first innings but rallied to post 360 all out. The seventh-wicket stand of 241 runs between Bairstow and Jamie Overton saved the day that time, and something special is required again here.

Rishabh Pant's inspired counter-attack ensured India ended day one of the final Test against England at Edgbaston still firmly in the match.

England came into the rearranged final encounter of last year's series on a high following the whitewash of New Zealand and soon reduced India to 98-5, before Pant (146 off 111) and Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) led the fightback.

Their partnership of 222 – in which Pant did the heavy lifting with a barrage of boundaries and the fastest Test century by an India wicketkeeper – helped carry the tourists to 338-7 by stumps.

Ben Stokes had unsurprisingly put India in to bat, potentially pursuing a fourth successive successful fourth-innings chase.

The England captain first needed his bowlers to deliver, and James Anderson (3-52) did exactly that in the morning session in tempting edges from Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13) – Zak Crawley taking each catch either side of putting down a chance from Hanuma Vihari off the bowling of Matthew Potts.

Rain interrupted play – bringing an early lunch – but not England's momentum, as Potts (2-85) pinned Vihari (20) and then bamboozled Virat Kohli (11), who pulled his bat away too late and saw the ball run off the face into his stumps.

Anderson's third wicket from Shreyas Iyer (15) owed a great deal to a superb Sam Billings catch, yet Pant's big hitting turned the tide – helped by some increasingly untidy work from England.

Pant eventually departed to Joe Root, nicking to Crawley in attempting another blast to pass 150, but the hosts still have work to do with the ball before they will again be asked to score well with the bat in a continuation of this entertaining new era under Stokes.

New foe for Kohli

Many have pondered the possibility this is the last time Anderson and Kohli come face to face in a Test match, given the England great turns 40 later this month. No bowler has claimed more Kohli wickets in Tests than Anderson (seven).

But this time it was the turn of the new man. Potts had stunning figures of 3-3 bowling to Kane Williamson in the New Zealand series and quickly added another huge scalp, with Kohli now averaging an underwhelming 28.63 for this delayed series.

Pant profits

Despite India's 2-1 lead as they bid to win a Test series in England for the first time since 2007, Kohli was not alone in struggling slightly with the bat last year. Pant's series average entering this match was 20.86, with a high score of 50.

But suspicions England's aggressive approach could soon meet their match were affirmed by his ability to find the boundary time and again, avoiding the sort of errors on which Stokes' attack might have preyed. Pant had 23 boundaries in this innings, surpassing his 15 in the previous four matches between the sides combined.

Ben Stokes warned England are capable of taking their aggressive new approach to another level ahead of the rearranged fifth Test against India.

England started a new era under Test captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum by beating New Zealand 3-0.

They went on the attack in three big run chases to whitewash the Black Caps, who defeated India to win the inaugural World Test Championship final last year.

England will get the chance to continue riding the crest of a wave at Edgbaston on Friday, aiming to draw the series 2-2 in a match that was due to be played at Old Trafford last year, only for India to head home early due to fears over an increase in coronavirus cases in their camp.

Asked if England can be even more positive in the longest format, Stokes replied: "If there's a team that can, it's us."

Stokes did not play in the four Tests against India last year, as he was taking a break to protect his mental health while also recovering from a broken finger.

The all-rounder is relishing an opportunity to maintain the momentum now, though.

"It is a bit strange," he said. "It is different opposition, but I made it very clear after the New Zealand series how we're going to do things, and we're going to go out there and try to operate in the same way."

James Anderson replaces Jamie Overton after missing the victory over the Black Caps at Headingley due to an ankle injury, while wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings plays as Ben Foakes has not fully recovered from COVID-19.

Paceman Jasprit Bumrah will captain the tourists for the first time in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who is sidelined after contracting coronavirus.

India have not won an away Test series against England since 2007, and they have never won at Edgbaston in the longest format, losing six matches and drawing one.

Bairstow in the form of his life

Jonny Bairstow has thrived on having license to play with freedom in a new dawn for England.

Bairstow and former captain Joe Root were outstanding with the bat against New Zealand, scoring 394 and 396 runs respectively in six knocks.

The powerful Bairstow has racked up 774 runs this year at an average of 64.5. Only in 2016 (1,470 runs at 58.8) has he scored more in a single year since his debut in the format in 2012.

Kohli closing in on landmark as he eyes elusive century

Virat Kohli was unable to score a long-awaited century against Sri Lanka in March after stepping down as captain.

You have to go back to November 2019 for his last Test hundred, which came against Bangladesh. 

Kohli only needs another 40 runs to reach the 2,000 mark against England in Tests, a feat that only Sachin Tendulkar (2,535) and Sunil Gavaskar (2,483) have achieved.

Jasprit Bumrah will captain India in their rescheduled fifth Test with England following confirmation that Rohit Sharma will miss out with coronavirus.

Regular skipper Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, with Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad to provide cover.

Having again returned a positive test on Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed Sharma will play no part at Edgbaston.

Bumrah will step up for his maiden stint as captain at any level, with Rishabh Pant as his deputy, and becomes the first fast bowler to lead India since Kapil Dev in 1987.

Virat Kohli skippered India in the first four Tests last year, with the final match being pushed back by nine months due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.

Rohit's absence will leave a huge void to be filled, the 35-year-old's 368 runs across the first four Tests bettered only by the 564 managed by England's Joe Root.

England have a coronavirus absentee of their own for the fifth Test, which India lead 2-1, as Ben Foakes has failed to recover in time for the start of play on Friday.

Sam Billings, who was called up to the squad during the final Test of England's 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand, will therefore keep his place behind the stumps.

James Anderson returns to the England team in place of Jamie Overton, meanwhile, despite the latter impressing against the Black Caps.

England captain Ben Stokes has confirmed Jamie Overton will make his Test debut against New Zealand on Thursday, replacing the injured James Anderson.

Having ensured a series victory with a five-wicket win over the tourists at Trent Bridge last week, England go in search of a 3-0 triumph when they head to Headingley for the third and final Test.

They will be without Anderson - who claimed 11 wickets across the first two Tests - for that contest after the paceman suffered an ankle injury.

But Stokes, who was originally a doubt himself after feeling unwell, hopes the addition of Overton to the XI will provide a boost for Brendon McCullum's men.

"Unfortunately Jimmy has not pulled up as well as we would have liked," the skipper told Sky Sports. "So Jamie Overton is going to make his debut this week.

"It's unfortunate for Jimmy but we've obviously got a massive Test match against India next week to look to as well. He didn't pull up as well, so it's great Jamie gets the opportunity to represent England."

Asked about Overton's potential, Stokes added: "He's been very impressive.

"The way that he's bowled, we always want a point of difference in our side, and Jamie's been bowling with some serious pace and been changing games as well.

"So to have someone come in, in obviously a different role to what Jimmy normally plays, and in the back pocket having someone who can bowl 90 miles an hour and bowl aggressively, is exciting to have in the team."

Overton has taken 21 wickets for County Championship Division One leaders Surrey at an average of 21.61 this season.

His twin brother Craig was also called up to the England squad for the final Test but has narrowly missed out on selection.

James Anderson picked up his 650th Test wicket as England set up a push for victory in the second Test with New Zealand.

Joe Root set the tone on Monday by reverse scooping his second ball against Tim Southee for six, with England looking to score quickly to overturn an 80-run deficit.

Root fell on 176 shortly after, caught at cover off Trent Boult's bowling, while Stuart Broad (nine) followed to Michael Bracewell and Ben Foakes was run out after posting 56.

Boult completed his 10th five-wicket Test haul by bowling Matthew Potts (three) before Bracewell (3-62) dismissed Anderson (nine), with England all out for 539 – only trailing by 14 runs.

Anderson made a bright start as Tom Latham (four) left a straight one to hand the seamer his landmark dismissal, before Will Young and Devon Conway steadied the ship.

Conway's resistance ended when he fell for 52, caught attempting to sweep Jack Leach (1-78), before Henry Nicholls (three) directed a wide Potts ball to Alex Lees at gully.

England were boosted when a mix-up saw Young (56) run out, which brought Tom Blundell together with Daryl Mitchell, the pair who shared 236 in the first innings.

Blundell was then caught off a Stuart Broad (1-53) bouncer on 24, while Bracewell made a brisk 25 before being removed by Potts (2-32) and Southee (nought) was another to be needlessly run out.

Mitchell finished unbeaten on 32 alongside Matt Henry (eight not out), with New Zealand on 224-7, leading by 238 to tee up an enticing final day where all four results are possible. 

Awesome Anderson

Anderson shows no sign of relenting in the twilight days of his incredible career, picking up his 650th scalp in red-ball internationals.

Only Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708), both spinners, have taken more Test wickets than the England seamer across his 19-year international career.

Sorry Southee

Unlike the excellent Boult, who posted 5-106, seaming partner Southee struggled in Nottingham. He failed to grab a wicket from his 32 overs, bowling just one maiden and conceding 154 runs.

Southee became just the fifth New Zealand bowler to concede 150-plus runs without a wicket in an innings, while his wicketless figures were the most expensive in a men's Test match at Trent Bridge.

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell combined to put New Zealand in the ascendancy at 236-4 at stumps on day two of the first Test, leading England by 227 runs.

England added just 25 to their overnight score as they were dismissed for 141, a lead of nine, as both teams were bowled at Lord's in a Test match first innings for less than 150 for the first time since 1954.

Tim Southee (4-55) accounted for Stuart Broad (nine) and Ben Foakes (seven), while Trent Boult (3-21) removed Matt Parkinson – playing his first Test as a concussion sub for Jack Leach – for eight.

That called James Anderson (1-49) and Broad (1-47) back into action far sooner than they may have expected at Lord's, and the former soon dismissed Will Young for only one in the third over.

Matthew Potts (2-50) then claimed the wicket of captain Kane Williamson (15) for the second time in the match, before Tom Latham (14) edged the Durham quick behind to leave New Zealand 38-3 at lunch.

Devon Conway, on 13, feathered a short Broad ball behind to Foakes to start the second session, but Mitchell and Blundell steadied the ship to reach tea at 128-4.

Ben Stokes and Potts opted to employ the short-ball tactic in the final session, but to no avail as Blundell posted his fifth half-century, with Mitchell following his partner to the landmark shortly after. 

Mitchell (97) and Blundell (90), who remain unbeaten in their 180-run partnership, will eye their second and third Test match hundreds respectively as New Zealand look to build their sizeable lead on day three.

Brilliant Broad blunted

Australian opener David Warner joked on Instagram "Conway, I feel your pain" after seeing the New Zealand left-hander dismissed in familiar fashion by Broad around the wicket in the first innings.

Broad's second removal of Conway came from an alternate, shorter line, but despite his brilliant bowling, he ultimately left with no additional reward after the important knocks by Mitchell and Blundell.

Young must learn to leave

Young came into this series after a strong County Championship outing with Northamptonshire, racking up 331 runs at an average of 55.2 for the Division One side across his first four matches.

But the New Zealand opener must adapt after twice being exposed by Anderson's new-ball expertise, having been dismissed in almost identical fashion in both innings on one when nicking through to Foakes.

England bowled New Zealand out for 132 within two sessions of Ben Stokes' first Test as captain, but the match was back in the balance at the end of day one after yet another batting collapse.

Winless in nine Tests – their worst run in eight years – England's inability to score big dogged them in the final days of Joe Root's leadership.

Perhaps then the Lord's crowd should have known this was too good to be true when Stokes' side followed up a stunning bowling display with a steady start with the bat.

An opening partnership of 59 between Alex Lees (25) and Zak Crawley (43) hinted at a one-sided series opener, only for those old England issues to rear their ugly head.

Root and Stokes were among the wickets to follow in quick succession as a team now overseen by New Zealand great Brendon McCullum bowed under the pressure of the Black Caps attack.

England were 116-7 at stumps, with the final departure of the third session that of Matthew Potts – an improbably miserable ending to a day the Durham bowler will never forget.

In for his debut, Potts had played a starring role in England's fine early work with the ball, requiring just five deliveries to get New Zealand captain Kane Williamson before finishing with figures of 4-13. Only an apparent bout of cramp denied him a shot at a Lord's five-for.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad – two other newsworthy inclusions – also contributed handily, as the returning old-timers got England going with the first three wickets thanks to a trio of fine Jonny Bairstow catches.

Anderson added two more almost identical dismissals – both caught by Potts at the boundary as the Black Caps sought to counter – to finish with 4-66, but he is now set to be back out in the middle with the bat far sooner than he might have imagined, with England still 16 behind.

Anderson at it from the off

Anderson was overshadowed first by Potts and then by his New Zealand counterparts, but he first made sure to provide a reminder of his immense talents with the ball.

New Zealand were 2-2 when Will Young and Tom Latham each departed to Anderson inside five overs, meaning the England great has now dismissed both opening batsmen in 27 Test innings – ahead of Glenn McGrath (26) for the most ever.

New captain, same problems

England did not score 300 once in their dismal away Ashes series that represented the nadir of the Root era, and they will almost certainly fall well short of that mark again in this Test.

Of course, Stokes' side did not even need to reach that total to maintain control of this match, but England struggled just to make three figures on a day for the bowlers on both teams.

Ben Stokes' first major selection calls all looked to have gone to plan by lunch on day one of the first Test against New Zealand, who stumbled through to the end of the first session on 39-6.

In England's first Test since naming Stokes as captain and appointing Black Caps great Brendon McCullum as coach, New Zealand won the toss and had the opportunity to apply early pressure.

Instead, recalled veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad ripped through the top order with the help of Jonny Bairstow.

Bairstow, stationed in a slip cordon that was for so long an issue under Joe Root and Chris Silverwood, took the first three catches, including a sensational effort for the breakthrough wicket of Will Young off the bowling of Anderson.

His impeccable handling, even stooping to catch after juggling Tom Latham off Anderson, stood in stark contrast to what had gone before – England have dropped 70 catches in Tests since the start of 2021, the most of any side.

Bairstow's take from Devon Conway off Broad was far more straightforward between his legs, but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson remained in the middle as Matthew Potts – Stokes' Durham team-mate – took the ball for the first time in his Test debut.

Potts is the leading wicket taker in the County Championship this season, counting 15 top-four batters among his 35 scalps, and he required only five balls to make his mark.

New Zealand came into this match with the best batting strike rate against pace in Test cricket since the start of 2021 (55.3), but Potts' seam delivery teased an outside edge from Williamson, who was caught behind by Ben Foakes.

Potts (3-8) was not done there either, bowling through Daryl Mitchell to scatter his stumps and removing Tom Blundell, too, after earlier being denied by a successful lbw review in a sensational start for the rookie bowler, Stokes and England.

That positivity was only dampened by news of Jack Leach's withdrawal from the Test with concussion symptoms after an awkward fall while chasing a ball in the field.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been recalled and Matthew Potts has earned a debut for England's first Test under the new leadership of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes against New Zealand.

England's all-time leading wicket taker Anderson and Broad, second on that list, were contentiously dropped for the series in the West Indies earlier this year.

But defeat in that series led to the resignation of captain Joe Root and the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

New Zealand legend McCullum was consequently appointed as Silverwood's successor, while star all-rounder Stokes was named as new skipper.

England have turned to the experience of Anderson and Broad as they aim to make a winning start against the Black Caps at Lord's, while Durham seamer Potts – Stokes' county team-mate – is also included in the attack.

Potts is the leading wicket taker in the County Championship this season with 35 and got the nod ahead of Craig Overton.

In-form Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook has to wait for an opportunity, though, with Jonny Bairstow batting at five.


England team to face New Zealand: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Brendon McCullum insists he will pick his best England Test side at every opportunity with no interest in rest and rotation, while he suggested James Anderson and Stuart Broad can still work in tandem.

Anderson and Broad were surprise omissions for the tour of the West Indies in March, which ended in a 1-0 series defeat for Joe Root before he stepped down as England Test captain.

Ben Stokes was appointed as the successor to Root, who oversaw just one win in his last 17 Tests, while McCullum was named as red-ball coach, beating Gary Kirsten to the position.

McCullum's first task sees him face his home country New Zealand, starting at Lord's next Thursday, and he hinted Anderson and Broad – who have 1,117 Test wickets between them – could feature together.

"Why not? They can work together," he said to BBC Sport of the veteran bowling pair. "They have had successful careers together.

"There might have been times when the combination might not have been as good as everyone hoped, but there are circumstances around that – there might not have been enough runs, or they were bowling in benign conditions. I'm certainly not against picking them together.

"I'll probably get in trouble, but I like to pick the best team every time.

"My job will be to plan as if you'll live forever, but live as if you'll die tomorrow."

McCullum also sees similarities between himself and new captain Stokes, with the pair both known for their attacking batting displays in five-day cricket.

"He's going to be a wonderful leader," said McCullum. "He plays the game how I like it to be played and puts bums on seats.

"He might fly. He might grab the captaincy and go to a whole new level again. We'll just play what we see and feel in that moment – and I'm sure the relationship between Stokesy and I will really flourish."

There remain concerns over McCullum's experience, given he has only ever coached white-ball franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, he played 101 Tests for his country and believes he will coach differently to the aggressive batting style he opted for as a player.

"I'm very different as a coach to how I was as a player," he added.

"I like to allow guys to get to where they need to, to realise their potential rather than play how I played. I'd never want anyone to do that – that comes with an immense amount of disappointment at times. It's not for everyone, that style.

"Your job as coach is to understand everyone's game, understand them as people, get to know them and understand their aspirations. You try to piece that all together for one common goal."

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have recalled for England’s Test series against Zealand, while uncapped duo Harry Brook and Matty Potts were named in the squad on Wednesday.

Broad and Anderson were omitted for the 1-0 series defeat against West Indies in the Caribbean following the 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

But the experienced seam duo are in the first squad under new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with the opening match of the series against the Black Caps starting at Lord's on June 2.

Yorkshire batter Brook and Durham paceman Potts have been handed maiden call-ups after impressive starts to the County Championship seamer.

Brook, who made his T20 debut for England in the Caribbean earlier this year, has an incredible average of 151.60 in the County Championship this season, while Potts is the leading wicket-taker with 35 and claimed 7-40 in a win over Glamorgan last time out.

With former captain Joe Root batting at number four, Ollie Pope is set to come in at number three in the order.

"This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon," managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key stated.

"With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series.

"We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.

"It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side.

"It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country."

England Test Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook,, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matty Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.

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