England concluded a series whitewash of New Zealand in fashion befitting the rest of the primitive Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era.

The new captain-coach combo have inspired England to three relentlessly entertaining Test displays – and now three wins, after Joe Root (86 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (71 no) clinched a seven-wicket victory on day five at Headingley.

England chased down 277 in the first Test and 299 in the second, and the target of 296 in Leeds never looked beyond them as they resumed on 183-2.

Rain delayed the start of play until after lunch on Monday, and Stokes' side quickly lost Ollie Pope (82) to a beauty from Tim Southee, but Bairstow picked up where he left off in his previous two innings (136 at Trent Bridge, 162 at Headingley).

His partnership with Root passed 50 inside 39 balls – the two Yorkshiremen thrilling a home crowd – but Bairstow was scoring at a far faster rate than his former captain.

Soon enough, he reached the half-century himself from just 30 deliveries – the second-quickest 50 by an England Test batsman.

Having squandered two reviews on Sunday attempting to remove Root, Kane Williamson's third went when Bairstow was caught off his forearm, rather than his glove. The batter was never concerned and swiftly resumed his assault on the New Zealand attack.

Fittingly, Bairstow finished with a four and then a six, with victory over the world Test champions wrapped up a little over an hour after the belated start.

Blistering Bairstow only behind Botham

No England player has profited as much as Bairstow from the freedom afforded him by Stokes and McCullum, with each knock seemingly better than the last.

There was little pressure on this occasion, with plenty of time and wickets in hand, and Bairstow fell agonisingly short of a long-standing Ian Botham record – his 28-ball half-century against India in 1981 briefly within reaching distance when Bairstow sent his 27th ball over the rope to reach 46.

A dot ball and a single followed before Bairstow passed 50 with his sixth four, to go with two maximums, after just 42 minutes.

India up next after unprecedented success

England have only until Friday before their next Test against India, but there will be few complaints, with the team quickly finding their rhythm under new leadership and relishing every new challenge.

India might be tempted to put England in to bat, for no target looks beyond Stokes' men when behind; they are the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

Glen Ella says Eddie Jones will be thriving on coming under fire and expects England to step up when they face Australia in a three-match Test series next month.

The 62-year-old heads back to his homeland with the Red Rose smarting from a chastening warm-up hammering at the hands of the Barbarians following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his England tenure, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

Ella, a former school-mate of Jones who also played club rugby with him at Randwick and was his assistant six years ago, feels he will conjure up a response with his back against the wall and with key men to return.

"I sit here laughing when I see some of the press that is coming out of England," he told The Guardian. "Some of it is warranted, there’s no doubt about that, but this is what he thrives on.

"They’ll come over here and put three good games together, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

"He thrives under that kind of pressure and that probably brings the best out of him, especially away from England, in an environment that he knows.

"He probably left not on the best terms in Australia but the one thing about Eddie is that he’s got a lot of belief in himself and a lot of belief in his team."

The Wallabies will have a point to prove after failing to get the better of England under Jones and they are a different proposition under Dave Rennie.

"It’s harder coaching a foreign team, as Eddie is finding at the moment, and to win the Australian public over they need to win the series," Ella added.

"But it’s a different Australia these days and especially with the Super Rugby sides on the up, there’s big expectation. England have beaten the Australians eight times under Eddie and so [Australia’s] got a lot to answer for."

 

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has created a "white-ball dynasty" but has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

That is the message from former England captain Michael Atherton, who was speaking after news circulated that Morgan is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan has endured a tough spell with the bat in recent times, managing to pass 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings and failing to score in his last two outings against the Netherlands.

England have still won eight consecutive ODIs, their longest such winning streak since a sequence of the same length in 2017, but Morgan promised to step down when he was no longer contributing as a batter.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler appears poised to take the captaincy from Morgan, who has rejuvenated the white-ball fortunes of England since being appointed as skipper in 2014.

England won the Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019, three years after reaching the World Twenty20 final.

Morgan's side also reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, and Atherton believes the 35-year-old is making the right choice to step down with his legacy still intact.

"He created a one-day dynasty. Having taken over at a low point – the 2015 World Cup, which went badly – he decided it was time to change England's approach," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"For seven years, England have been as good at white-ball cricket as anybody. And that's the first time really you can say that about our one-day side.

"He will go down as one of England's most significant captains, but I think he has picked exactly the right time to go.

"He said the other day, 'I'm feeling old', and he told Middlesex he couldn't play two T20 games in succession. If you can't do that, how are you then going to captain in a World Cup when they come thick and fast?"

 

Morgan is set to retire as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in ODI and T20I cricket, with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively.

Having also played 23 ODIs for Ireland, his 225 ODIs and 115 T20s are England records for appearances, and Nasser Hussain says Matthew Mott's side will lose their greatest ever leader and a brilliant batter.

"I had an interview with Rob Key when Rob Key got the job, and I asked him about Eoin Morgan and the white-ball side," former England captain Hussain added.

"He said that one thing about Eoin Morgan is that he will always do what is best for the team. If he's not contributing to the team and if he feels him being out of the team is better for that team, then he will go. That will be the decision that Morgan is making.

"He has been short of form, short of fitness and there are other people now – there are so many white-ball batters who could be playing. 

"It's not the 10 players he is taking on the field with him, it's in the one he's leaving behind because he's in that spot, and Morgan will always think of that one.

"One thing for certain is that he has been our greatest ever white-ball captain. He's a World Cup-winning captain, and he is a superb player.

"He was the one that was reverse-sweeping, reverse-scooping and playing all of these funky shots. He was way ahead of his time both as a player and as a captain."

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan is set to retire from international cricket.

Morgan is expected to announce his retirement during a press conference at Lord's on Tuesday, with vice-captain Jos Buttler poised to replace him.

The 35-year-old batter has transformed the white-ball fortunes of England since his appointment in 2014, leading his side to World Cup glory with a dramatic win over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019.

Morgan also guided England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016, before reaching the semi-finals of the same competition five years later.

While England have become a huge force in limited-overs cricket during Morgan's tenure, the left-hander has struggled with the bat in recent times.

England completed an ODI series sweep over Netherlands last week – extending their winning run to eight matches in the 50-over format – but Morgan failed to score in two matches before missing the final clash due to injury.

The Dublin-born Morgan has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings since scoring 106 against Ireland in February 2020, and had vowed to step down when he felt he could no longer contribute.

England face India in a three-match T20I series starting on July 7 and are set to do so without their all-time leading run scorer in T20I and ODI cricket.

Morgan has scored 7,701 ODI runs and 2,458 runs in the shortest format at international level. His 248 ODIs and 115 T20s are also England records for appearances.

A brilliant leader and destructive batter, Morgan made his international debut for Ireland back in 2006 before committing to play for England. He played 16 Tests between 2010 and 2012.

Matthew Mott will expect England to continue playing the aggressive brand of cricket that Morgan instilled as his side go in search of T20 World Cup glory in Australia later this year.

They will then head to India next year attempting to defend their world title in the 50-over format.

Jack Leach has praised captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum for their leadership and says he has "never experience anything" like playing in this England Test side. 

The Somerset spinner took 5-66 on day four of England's fourth Test against New Zealand to claim his first 10-wicket haul in the format.

Leach is the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test since Moeen Ali in 2017.

Not since Derek Underwood against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974 had an England spinner claimed two five-fors in a home Test.

Stokes and McCullum have put their faith in Leach and been rewarded; he is thriving under the new leadership, with England on course for a clean sweep in their three-match series against the Black Caps.

"[Under Stokes] it's really attacking, and I am really enjoying bowling attackingly [sic]," Leach told Sky Sports.

"Stokesy's confidence in his decisions but also in us as players – I have never experienced anything like it.

"It is very special to be a part of, and that is credit to Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] for setting that up.

"You realise teams I have played in, the way I have thought, a lot of decisions are made around negativity.

"A lot of four or five-day games you give up on the win quite early, but now it feels like you are always pushing for that win, so there is never really too bad a situation.

"My biggest thing is having belief in myself, and that is what Ben and Baz have helped me with."

Leach's latest impressive showing helped England to bowl out their opponents for 326 in their second innings, leaving the hosts requiring 296 runs for victory in Yorkshire.

Continuing their attacking approach under Stokes and McCullum, England will enter the final day on 183-2 thanks to strong work by Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no).

Zak Crawley (25) and Alex Lees (nine) fell early on in the chase, but Pope and Root's unbeaten 132-run stand means England now require just 113 runs with eight wickets in hand.

Should England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

But Tom Blundell (88 no), who became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, vowed that New Zealand will give their all to avoid a whitewash.

"This team has been known to fight, and we've got to come out there and do that tomorrow," he said. "You put a couple of wickets on there and you just never know.

"Obviously you've got two guys out there in good form, but if we get one of those, who knows?

"The wicket is deteriorating. A little bit of variable bounce, obviously with the spin as well. It's quite hard to drive with that older ball. 

"It looks like it's going to deteriorate even more, and hopefully we can utilise that tomorrow."

England require 113 runs with eight wickets in hand on the final day of the Headingley Test against New Zealand as they bid to complete a series sweep.

Another entertaining match between the sides continued on Sunday, as the tourists – resuming on 168-5 in their second innings – were bowled out for 326, courtesy of Jack Leach's first 10-wicket Test haul.

That set England a target of 296 – a significant score but not even the largest Ben Stokes' newly confident side have chased down in this series.

And they will resume in a commanding position on day five, with Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no) firmly set and within sight of victory on 183-2.

The latest century stand between Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell – their fourth of the series – had earlier appeared to swing momentum back in New Zealand's favour following the late flurry of wickets on Saturday.

But that three-hour, 252-ball stand was ended with the Black Caps on 274-5. Four balls after Blundell (88 no) was saved by DRS, Matthew Potts (3-66) rapped Mitchell on the knee roll to see him depart lbw for 56.

Leach (5-66) took over from there, soon accounting for Michael Bracewell and then both Tim Southee and Neil Wagner in the same over.

When his second five-for of the match was completed bowling to Trent Boult, England – who replaced Ben Foakes with COVID substitute Sam Billings – had a realistic shot at victory.

Those hopes were dented when Zak Crawley's cover drive was cut off by Kane Williamson, who brilliantly picked out Boult to remove the stumps with Alex Lees well short.

Crawley (25) was perhaps at fault for that run-out and was caught by Williamson soon after, but Pope and Root steadied the ship, each passing 50 with an array of superb shots late in the day.

Root leading latest chase

If England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

The hosts have made a habit of digging deep and entertaining in equal measure in this series, best epitomised by Root's knock, in which he survived hopeful-at-best Williamson reviews from consecutive balls and then got to work – the highlight a remarkable reverse-scoop for six.

Brilliant Blundell

Blundell became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, this time doing the heavy lifting opposite regular partner Mitchell.

The pair have scored over half of the tourists' runs across the three matches.

Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19, less than a week before India's rescheduled Test match against England.

The India captain had been taking part in his team's warm-up game against Leicestershire, scoring 25 in the first innings but not batting in the second.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Saturday that Rohit had tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation.

"Team India captain Mr Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 following a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Saturday," a statement read. 

"He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and is under the care of the BCCI Medical Team."

Rohit has averaged 30.00 from three Test innings in 2022, having averaged 47.68 from 21 innings last year.

The Test match with England, which gets underway at Edgbaston on Friday, is the rescheduled fifth Test from September 2021.

Ben Foakes has been withdrawn for the remainder of England's third Test against New Zealand after testing positive for COVID-19.

Wicketkeeper Foakes was not on the field at Headingley on Saturday due to back stiffness, with Jonny Bairstow taking over the gloves for New Zealand's second innings.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Sunday that while undergoing further medical assessment, Foakes had tested positive after administering a COVID-19 lateral flow test.

The 29-year-old has only recently returned to the England set-up, and has averaged 35.66 runs with the bat from five innings in the New Zealand series.

An ECB statement read: "Details of [Foakes'] return to the England set-up will be announced in due course. However, it is hoped he will be fit for the LV= Insurance Test against India starting next Friday at Edgbaston.

"Kent wicketkeeper/batter Sam Billings, subject to ICC approval, has been drafted in as a like-for-like COVID replacement and will go straight into the XI when the fourth day gets underway from 11.00am today. He will keep wicket. 

"The rest of the England party follows health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. There are no other positive cases in the camp."

England have already secured the three-Test series with New Zealand after winning the first two, and ended day three 137 runs behind with five more Black Caps wickets remaining.

Jamie Overton believes England are in the "box seat" after a pulsating third day of the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

Seeking a 3-0 whitewash with victory in Yorkshire, England claimed a lead of 31 runs as they were bowled out for 360.

Jonny Bairstow added to his overnight 130 to reach 162, five short of his best ever total for England in the longest format, while Overton missed out on a debut Test century when he was caught on 97.

New Zealand fell from 152-2 to 168-5 after a rain break in the evening session to leave Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell looking after a lead of 137 when rain stopped play.

Overton was understandably disappointed to narrowly miss out on a century, but believes his knock has helped give England the edge going into the final two days.

"It's been good fun. Obviously I was very disappointed getting out on 97, but I feel like I've contributed to the team," he told reporters.

"It's always a challenge when you first go into something, but I feel I've done okay. I'd like to take a few more wickets, but I'm more than happy to get 97. I didn't think I'd get anywhere near that, especially coming in at 55 for six.

"I think that last session put us right in the box seat. We would like to go back out there at the end but couldn't quite get out there with the covers needing time to get them off.

"But we're in a great position going into tomorrow and hopefully we can get the two early wickets, the two key wickets. But we feel like we're in a good place. And if we can get those two early, then we're in a great place to win the game."

The Headingley crowd was in particularly raucous mood on Saturday, and Overton credited England's swashbuckling approach as key to the electric atmosphere.

"I've definitely not experienced anything like that before," he added. "The closest I've had was a Surrey against Somerset game, Ryan Patel getting things going down at third man. That was loud but it was nothing like this.

"Ben Stokes has got the ethos of trying to be entertainers for everyone and he said in the changing room earlier that the way me and Jonny played had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

"That's entertaining cricket and that's what we want to be doing. I like to think I'm quite an entertaining cricketer."

Headingley hero Jonny Bairstow and new boy Jamie Overton dug England out of trouble on a sensational second day of the third Test against New Zealand.

Playing on his home ground, Yorkshireman Bairstow scored a breathtaking 130 not out, forging an unlikely and unbroken alliance worth 209 runs for the seventh wicket with Jamie Overton as England, in their first innings, recovered from 55-6 to reach 264-6 at stumps.

They were replying to New Zealand's 329 all out, in which Daryl Mitchell converted his overnight 78 not out into a third century of the series. That is the joint-most hundreds by any New Zealand player in a Test series, matching Andrew Jones' feat against Sri Lanka in 1991 and Ross Taylor's three against West Indies in 1993.

He was eventually out for 109, caught smartly by England captain Ben Stokes off Jack Leach (5-100), as New Zealand progressed from 225-5 at the start of play.

Getting close to that score looked beyond England when they made a dismal start in reply, the mercurial brilliance of Trent Boult accounting for the home side's top three as New Zealand's left-armer bowled Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley.

It was a masterful demonstration of swing bowling, and the situation got no better for England as Joe Root fell for five, caught behind off Tim Southee, before Stokes (18) and Ben Foakes (0) were prised out by Neil Wagner.

Desperate times called for Bairstow brilliance, and the man whose late father David played so many matches on this Leeds ground delivered in remarkable style, driving, pulling and cutting as New Zealand struggled to contain him.

Bairstow drove Boult through mid-off to seal a 95-ball century, the second Test ton he has made at the ground after the 140 that set up an innings victory against Sri Lanka in 2016.

It was his second century of this series and a fourth in Tests for the 32-year-old since the turn of the year, after he also reached three figures against Australia. Across his career, it was a 10th Test ton.

Test newcomer Overton was exceptional too, unbeaten on 89 by the close, setting up what could be a pivotal Saturday.

England lead the three-match series 2-0, with Bairstow and Overton raising hopes of a clean sweep.

MARVEL MITCHELL

Before the Bairstow show began, the man of the day was Mitchell. He has enjoyed a stupendous series, reaching 482 runs from five innings so far.

That is the most runs scored by a New Zealand batter in a men's Test series against England, and Mitchell should get another crack in the second innings too. Centuries at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Headingley mean, even in defeat, he has been able to hold his head high.

WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY

From a position of peril, Bairstow and Overton took 37.1 overs to add over 200 runs. In the process they achieved England's first ever century partnership for the seventh wicket at Headingley, and then doubled it. Overton is in the side principally for his bowling but looked perfectly nequipped with bat in hand.

Bairstow's highest Test score is the 167 not out he scored against Sri Lanka at Lord's in June 2016, a matter of weeks after the Headingley ton against the same opposition. Going beyond that must be now in his sights.

Ben Stokes became just the third Test cricketer to reach 100 sixes in the longest format, but his England side were taking a bruising in the third match of the series against New Zealand.

England captain Stokes had seen New Zealand advance from their overnight 225-5 to post 329 all out, before a collapse saw the home side slump to 21-4 in reply at Headingley.

That brought Stokes to the middle, and he elected to go immediately on the attack.

From the third ball he faced, Stokes slapped Tim Southee's delivery high over the long-off boundary.

It took him to a career haul of 100 Test sixes, matching the total achieved by former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist.

The only man to plunder more is Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand great who is now England's Test head coach.

McCullum cleared the ropes 107 times in his distinguished Test career.

The all-out-attack approach from Stokes did not bring the desired results, with the skipper cracking a delivery from Neil Wagner to Kane Williamson at mid-off to be out for 18 from 13 deliveries.

When Ben Foakes was pegged leg before wicket three balls later, without any addition to the score, England were in deep trouble on 55-6, having earlier seen Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley bowled by the hugely impressive Trent Boult.

The final match of the series is effectively a dead rubber, however, with England holding an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Jonny May has tested positive for coronavirus just eight days before the first Test between England and Australia, leaving the winger's availability uncertain.

May was named as part of Eddie Jones' 36-man touring squad for the three-Test series, which starts on July 2 in Perth.

The 32-year-old has played 69 times for England but could struggle to feature in the opening Test, with May having to spend seven days in isolation as local regulations in Australia stipulate.

May, who is England's second top try scorer in history, missed the Six Nations after undergoing knee surgery in January, making his international comeback in the 52-21 thrashing to the Barbarians last Sunday.

Head coach Jones could be without his star winger but refused to rule him out ahead of the clash with the Wallabies.

"We're not going to rule Jonny May out at this stage. We'll just see how he is," Jones said on Friday.

"Potentially he'll be available next Thursday to train, so we'll have a look to see what he's like because he's experienced and he's showed in his first game back against the Barbarians that he's lacking game time and that he's got his best rugby ahead of him.

"We'll just monitor his situation and make an assessment closer to the day when he gets out."

Daryl Mitchell continued his remarkable series with the bat against England as the New Zealand all-rounder shook off his role in a freak dismissal at Headingley.

The 31-year-old Mitchell has produced career-best form on this tour, despite England getting the better of New Zealand and coming to Leeds with an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

This third Test produced an absorbing first day, with New Zealand reaching stumps at 225-5, an impressive recovery after teetering at 83-4 early in the afternoon.

It was Mitchell, after centuries at Lord's and Trent Bridge, who led the resistance, with able support from Tom Blundell, also enjoying a stellar tour with bat in hand.

Mitchell reached the close on 78 not out, with Blundell alongside him on 45, their partnership already worth 102 runs. Mitchell had enjoyed a moment of good fortune on eight when he was pinned in front by Matthew Potts but given not out, with England not challenging the decision. Replays showed he was plum in front.

The sixth-wicket pair were brought together after an extraordinarily odd end to Henry Nicholls' slow-paced vigil.

Nicholls had crawled to 19 from 98 balls when he drove uppishly down the ground off Jack Leach. The ball looked destined for the boundary but instead clattered off the raised bat of Mitchell at the non-striker's end and deflected away almost at a right angle to find the alert Alex Lees at mid-off.

Lees held on, as Leach wore a look of complete confusion and Nicholls cursed his luck.

Stuart Broad had earlier struck in the first over, drawing an edge from Tom Latham to Joe Root at slip. Leach took a wicket with his first delivery, beating the confused defences of Will Young and pinning the batsman in front. New Zealand challenged, but DRS showed the ball would have hit two thirds of the way up middle stump, with no suggestion of an edge.

Broad drew a thin edge from Kane Williamson just as the New Zealand captain was beginning to look like anchoring the innings, and England newcomer Jamie Overton bowled Devon Conway via an inside edge for a maiden Test wicket.

Nicholls departed in absurd circumstances, but Mitchell and Blundell again looked the part either side of a short rain delay, with this Test boiling up nicely.


Black Caps out to recapture former glories

New Zealand beat England by 199 runs in their last men's Test at Headingley, in May 2015. Both teams made exactly 350 in the first innings of that contest, before New Zealand took control to earn just their second Test win against England from eight meetings at the Leeds venue (D1, L5).

Joe Root made scores of 1 and 0 in that match, and keeping England's batting danger man down to another low score when the home side get to bat could again be key this time.

Mitchell making history

Mitchell's Test batting average now stands at a remarkable 65.69, with this his 12th Test. Among players to have played 10 or more Tests, that is the third-highest batting average in history, behind Australian great Don Bradman (52 Tests from 1928 to 1948, 99.94 average) and New Zealand's Stewie Dempster (10 Tests from 1930 to 1933, 65.72 average).

England defender Lucy Bronze says the choice to move to Barcelona was a "no-brainer" and that she always draws confidence from the interest of big teams.

The Lionesses full-back has made the switch to Spain from Manchester City, electing to stay in Europe despite speculation she was set to head to the United States for the next step in her career.

Having previously played for Lyon, where she was a three-time Champions League winner, it marks another move to the continent for the 87-cap veteran.

"I had offers from Lyon and Barca, the two best teams in the world. It wasn't bad to be able to pick from that and make my decision," Bronze stated.

"It gives me loads of confidence as a player knowing these big teams who are so successful want to sign me."

"I knew I wanted to play abroad again. My experience at Lyon was the best time and best moments in my career," she added.

"Going out and pushing myself into a different culture, a different experience, playing with the world's best players - to have the chance to do that again was a no-brainer.

"Maybe I can't hype doing the same experience again with Barca but I would love to. I've not had that experience in England quite the same as in Lyon.

"Hopefully, I can do it again."

Ben Stokes is out to make some more happy memories at Headingley as England look to complete a Test series whitewash of New Zealand in Leeds.

Stokes and England have not played a Test at Headingley since his remarkable showing in the third Ashes Test with Australia in 2019, which saw him rescue the hosts and lead them to a one-wicket win with the highest successful chase in their Test history. Stokes' unbeaten 135 propelled England past the target of 359 and is regarded by many as the greatest Test innings of all time.

After replacing Joe Root as captain, Stokes – along with new head coach Brendon McCullum – has inspired another transformation in his first series as skipper, his side claiming successive wins over New Zealand, having previously won one of their last 17 Tests, to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

The second Test at Trent Bridge saw England ruthlessly chase down 299 in front of a packed day-five house, the hosts prevailing despite conceding 553 runs in the first innings.

It was a match that saw a Test-record 249 boundaries (225 fours and 24 sixes) struck. Seven of those sixes came in Jonny Bairstow's critical 136, the Yorkshireman reaching 100 off just 77 balls as he went into Twenty20 mode having recently returned from the Indian Premier League.

And Stokes says his side will play in the same attacking manner as he targets more joy at Headingley.

"The first time we've played Test matches since that game [versus Australia in 2019], so it's amazing how fast time goes," said Stokes. 

"There are obviously some great memories here at Headingley, we've got a good record here as a team so, yes, looking forward to getting going again.

"I was pretty simple and clear in the dressing room. I said this week, let's try and think like we're in the entertainment business rather than the sporting business because I feel like we've managed to do something over the last two weeks.

"There's a reason why we had 20,000 people that are at Trent Bridge on day five, because they want to come in and watch this new brand-new cricket that we're playing.

"I set a challenge to the team to come out and be even more fearless, more positive and more aggressive than we were last week."

 

Anderson out but Williamson returns

England's sole change from that win sees Jamie Overton replace James Anderson, who is out with an ankle injury.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson returns after missing the second Test with COVID-19 and he is not concerned with England's change in style under Stokes.

"Their style is theirs," Williamson said. "It appears to have evolved a little bit.

"For us it's focusing on our cricket and finding different areas of the game to target and be aware they are choosing to play a different brand that seems to be suiting them.

"The focus is us and wanting to be better."

New Zealand's attack has been depleted by injuries to Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson. Neil Wagner and Ajaz Patel are each in consideration to come into the side.

Stokes' six appeal

Stokes hit six maximums in the second Test and is now on the verge of joining a select group. He needs one six to become just the third player to hit 100 in men's Test cricket (Brendon McCullum – 107 and Adam Gilchrist – 100).

The omens are good. Stokes has hit more than one in each of his last three Test innings against New Zealand, after hitting only four across all his 12 innings prior in the format against the Black Caps.

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