Despite New Zealand’s Protests, England Chose “Aggressive” Option Of Enforcing Follow-On

Despite New Zealand's fightback in the second Test, England chose the "aggressive" option of enforcing the follow-on, according to Paul Collingwood.

Despite New Zealand's Protests, England Chose 
Despite New Zealand's Protests, England Chose "Aggressive" Option Of Enforcing Follow-On

Despite New Zealand’s fightback in the second Test, England chose the “aggressive” option of enforcing the follow-on, according to Paul Collingwood.

At the end of day three in Wellington, the Black Caps had reached 202-3 in their second innings, trailing England by 24 runs.

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“We’re ahead of the game,” assistant coach Collingwood told BBC Sport.

“We felt as though we could cause a lot of problems, which we did, but we didn’t get the rewards for it. There were a lot of great things from today.”

On the third morning, England bowled New Zealand out for 209, taking a 226-run lead in the first innings.

Ben Stokes took the opportunity to enforce a follow-on for the first time as captain, making this the first time England had asked the opposition to follow on since 2020.

“It’s the aggressive approach and that’s how we try to do things,” said Collingwood, who played 68 Tests for England.

“It was very clear in Stokesy’s mind when we turned up this morning that if we had the chance to enforce the follow-on we would be taking it. We never take a backward step.”

In New Zealand’s opening stand of 149, Tom Latham made 83 and Devon Conway 61. Despite losing three wickets for 18 runs to Jack Leach and Joe Root’s spin, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls defended tenaciously at the end of the day in a partnership that lasted more than 21 overs but yielded only 35 runs.

Only three times in Test cricket history has a team enforced the follow-on and lost: to England in Sydney in 1894, again to England famously at Headingley in 1981, and against India in Kolkata in 2001.

England will use a second new ball that is only three overs old against New Zealand on Monday, with Collingwood confident that the tourists will be able to chase whatever total is set.

“We don’t look at targets and we never restrict this team or think about how many is too many,” said Collingwood.

“We are in a very good position in this game. The morning sessions seem to be doing a lot more for the seam bowlers, so hopefully we can make serious inroads with the new ball tomorrow and have a total we can chase.”

If England wins the series 2-0, it will be England’s seventh consecutive Test victory.

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On Sunday, Captain Stokes bowled only two overs, not entering the attack until the 50th over of New Zealand’s second innings.

The all-rounder, 31, has a long-standing problem with his left knee.


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