Last Updated: 20/11/19 7:29am
Dom Sibley scored a century in England’s opening tour match against a New Zealand XI
Dom Sibley will make his England debut in the first Test against New Zealand at
Skipper Joe Root refused to reveal the team in his final press conference on Wednesday but, just 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.
Warwickshire batsman Sibley was the only batsman in Division One of the County Championship to go past 1,000 runs this year, scoring 1,324 runs for the Bears.
New Zealand vs England
November 20, 2019, 9:00pm
The 24-year-old also made a century in England’s opening tour match against a New Zealand XI and will now be given the opportunity to impress in the first Test – live on Sky Sports from 9pm on Wednesday.
Sibley will partner Rory Burns at the top of the order against New Zealand, with Joe Denly dropping down to No 3, which allows Root to occupy his preferred position of four.
Ollie Pope will make only his third Test appearance and his first in 15 months, with Sam Curran selected ahead of Chris Woakes.
Jofra Archer is set for his first Test match overseas having played a key role in England’s World Cup victory, as well as experiencing his first taste of Ashes cricket.
Root’s batting average before taking the England captaincy stood at 52.8 from 53 Tests but that has dropped to 40.81 in the 33 matches he has been at the helm.
Chris Silverwood talks to Sky Sports’ Ian Ward about the challenge that awaits England in New Zealand, a shift in focus to the Test team and Joe Root’s place in the batting order
Despite that statistic, Yorkshire batsman Root insists it is not something he is unduly concerned by.
Root 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.”
Joe Root and Chris Silverwood believe England are in a strong position heading into the Test series against New Zealand after a week of competitive warm-up matches
As for New Zealand, paceman Lockie Ferguson, who also impressed during the World Cup in England and Wales, must wait a little longer for his Test debut.
Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson confirmed the experienced 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,” said Williamson.
“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.”