England assistant coach Graham Thorpe wants players to use their experience of the 1-0 Test series defeat in New Zealand to develop a harder edge.

Joe Root's side are back in action in South Africa later this month, with the first of four Tests starting on Boxing Day at Centurion.

James Anderson, Mark Wood and Jonny Bairstow are expected to return to the squad having sat out the trip to New Zealand, where a draw in Hamilton meant the tourists were unable to overturn an innings defeat in the first Test at Mount Maunganui.

Nevertheless, Thorpe acknowledges there is a bigger picture to consider when it comes to England developing their Test game under new head coach Chris Silverwood – namely the next chance to regain the Ashes in 2021-22.

"We've got to keep developing our players, no doubt about that. They have to ask themselves when they come away from a trip like this: where can I get better?" said Thorpe, as quoted by The Guardian.

"Because the big picture is that down the line, in a couple of years' time, we'll need resilient cricketers going to Australia.

"It’s down to our players to be honest and for us to be honest with them.

"If we are going to keep trying to go up that Test ladder and really compete abroad then we have to keep challenging the players along the way."

Virat Kohli has returned to the top of the batting list in the ICC Test Player Rankings ahead of Steve Smith, whose Australia team-mate David Warner is back in the first five.

Smith struggled for form in Australia's dominant series win over Pakistan and, having scored only 36 runs in the second Test in Adelaide, saw his points drop from 931 to 923.

Conversely, India skipper Kohli scored 136 in the day-night Test against Bangladesh and returned to the summit on 928 points.

Warner rose an impressive 12 places to fifth after making a sensational 335 against Pakistan, while fellow Aussie Marnus Labuschagne makes the top 10 for the first time in his career.

England captain Joe Root is back in the top 10 having slipped out last week. He climbs to seventh after a sublime 226 versus New Zealand in the drawn second Test.

England captain Joe Root backed Jofra Archer to bounce back after the paceman struggled to have an impact in the 1-0 Test series loss to New Zealand.

Archer finished with just two wickets at an average of 104.50 as England lost the series after the second Test was drawn in Hamilton on Tuesday.

But Root backed the 24-year-old, who saw Joe Denly drop a simple chance to dismiss Kane Williamson off his bowling on day five, to respond.

"He's found out that Test cricket is hard. You sometimes don't get the rewards you deserve in Test cricket," he told Sky Sports.

"He is a fantastic talent and there's no doubt he's going to contribute to England in Test cricket.

"I expect him to bounce back quite quickly. He's a fast learner."

Williamson and Ross Taylor made unbeaten centuries at Seddon Park before the rain arrived, leading to a drawn second Test.

Root was unsurprisingly left disappointed after the series loss, saying: "It was a frustrating day.

"I thought we tried everything as a bowling group, a couple of chances didn't stick. I thought we were forcing the issue a lot of the time."

Black Caps captain Williamson praised his team after holding on for a draw on a flat pitch in the second Test.

"It was a great fighting effort over the last couple of weeks. We know how strong the England side is. To lose both tosses but to keep showing that fight was really pleasing to see," he said.

"The first match for us was a fantastic victory. To come here and back it up with another strong performance was really pleasing."

Joe Root believes England can win the second Test against New Zealand if they can get on a "wicket train" early on the final day.

England captain Root reached 226 on day four – his first overseas double century and his longest innings at 10 hours, 36 minutes – at Seddon Park before falling to Mitchell Santner as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 21 runs.

New Zealand saw Jeet Raval fall to a second-ball duck and Tom Latham dismissed for 18 in the final session, but Kane Williamson (37 not out) and Ross Taylor (31no) guided the Black Caps to stumps.

A draw appears to be the most likely result as rain is forecast for much of Tuesday, but Root thinks England have a shot at securing a 1-1 series draw if they can get Williamson and Taylor out quickly.

"If we can make an early breakthrough, it could get us on a bit of a wicket train, because they're such key figures in their batting line-up," said Root.

"They've got huge amounts of experience and are class players, so it would give our guys a lot of confidence for sure.

"They're two experienced players who you expect a bit of rearguard from – they know how to play in those situations, and on a good surface you expect a bit of a fightback from the number two side in the world."

He added: "I wanted to try to get us in a position where we could force a result in this game. A good couple of wickets tonight, it would have been nice to get a couple more.

"But I still feel it we can sneak a couple tomorrow morning first thing – I know there's a bit of weather around but you just never know. There will be one big last push from everyone to try and come away with a levelled-up series.

"We'd have taken this position at the start of the day."

Neil Wagner sparked the decimation of England's tail by removing Ollie Pope and he went on to claim his fourth five-wicket haul in as many Tests, but the left-armer was modest when assessing his performance.

"I was a bit lucky to get the rewards. All the other bowlers bowled well, too, and grafted away," said Wagner.

"It just sort of came my way and I ended up getting a couple of wickets which is quite nice and pleasing and satisfying.

"But all the bowlers bowled well with not a lot of luck and reward. We hunt as a pack and bowl really well in partnerships and I was lucky it came my way."

England remain a chance of winning the second Test against New Zealand after Joe Root scored a double century on Monday.

Root (226) continued to star on day four at Seddon Park, where Ollie Pope (75) also helped England to 476 – a first-innings lead of 101.

While the tourists, who trail the two-Test series 1-0, scored slowly, they moved into a lead and then struck twice before stumps.

Sam Curran (1-26) and Chris Woakes (1-8) removed Jeet Raval (0) and Tom Latham (18) respectively to give England hope of an unlikely victory.

Curran trapped Raval lbw, the opener opting not to review despite appearing to get an inside edge.

The Black Caps fell to 28-2 when Latham edged Woakes to Root at slip, but Kane Williamson (37) and Ross Taylor (31) were unbeaten at the close of play as they steadied the hosts, reaching 96-2 – still trailing by five runs.

Earlier, Root and Pope combined for a 193-run sixth-wicket partnership to boost England.

New Zealand struggled to create many chances as England edged into a lead prior to lunch before Root reached his third Test double century.

The tourists looked to lift their run rate but the lower-order were unable to contribute much of note as Neil Wagner (5-124) took a ninth Test five-for.

Woakes and Stuart Broad went for ducks, while Curran (11 not out) and Jofra Archer (8) made small contributions.

But the two late wickets have given England hope, although rain is expected in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Rory Burns hailed a "beautiful" performance from Joe Root and was happy to get his own tempo right as both struck hundreds for England on day three of the second Test with New Zealand.

Burns hit only his second Test century as England fought back at Hamilton, while captain Root ended a long wait with his first ton in the five-day game since February.

Root's 17th Test hundred will ease the pressure on the under-pressure skipper, who has consistently faced questions over whether the burden of the captaincy was affecting his form.

He stood unbeaten on 114 but Burns was run out on 101, with England going on to lose the wickets of Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley before the close, leaving them on 269-5 in reply to New Zealand's 375.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Burns said of Root: "He played beautifully, to get himself back to where he wants to be, good Test match hundred and he's still in and still fighting away and hopefully he's going to make it a massive one.

"From a personal point I feel like I got my tempo right and managed to cash in."

On the run-out, when he was pushing for a second run, Burns added: "I thought I was just about there. I thought I had enough in the tank but didn't quite. That's disappointing to miss out in that way, it could have been a real big one."

England's prospects of winning the match and saving the two-game series appear to be slim, with the tourists facing the likelihood of needing to bat well into day four to gain a lead with which they could declare and then attempt to claim an innings victory.

Burns, however, remained hopeful, saying: "There's still a fair bit of batting there, it's about getting as far ahead of them as we can now and see what we can enforce."

An unbeaten century from Joe Root helped England stay in the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday.

Root (114 not out) guided England to 269-5 in response to the Black Caps' 375 at stumps on day three at Seddon Park.

The England captain scored his first Test century since February to give the tourists hope of salvaging a drawn series.

Rory Burns (101) also made a century after England had resumed in a precarious position at 39-2.

Burns and Root controlled the first session, although the latter needed a review when given out caught behind on 47, a delivery from debutant Daryl Mitchell (0-28) having hit his pad, not bat.

Burns was dropped on 10 on Saturday and he survived again on 86, Matt Henry (1-56) squandering a great run-out chance as the difficult day continued for New Zealand.

The England opener would reach his second Test ton before being run out thanks to excellent fielding by Jeet Raval.

England had battled through the second session as Ben Stokes (26) joined Root before the all-rounder edged Tim Southee (2-63) to Ross Taylor at slip.

Much to his relief, Root got to his 17th Test century thanks to an under-edge that went for four.

Zak Crawley, making his Test debut for England, only lasted six balls before edging behind to BJ Watling off Neil Wagner (1-76).

Rain meant the day was cut short with England back in the Test and hoping Root and Ollie Pope (4) can push them into a first-innings lead on Monday.

Zak Crawley has received his first England cap after he replaced the injured Jos Buttler for the second Test against New Zealand.

England suffered defeat by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test at Mount Maunganui and will look to tie the two-match series by responding in Hamilton.

Their task has been made more difficult after Buttler sustained a back injury in training on Thursday.

With Jonny Bairstow not included in the Test squad, England – who have no back-up wicketkeeper – have called up Kent batsman Crawley to fill the gap left by Buttler.

Crawley will bat at six with Ollie Pope, who came in at four in the first Test, taking over Buttler's role at wicketkeeper and moving down to seven.

"I was with Jos in the gym [on Thursday] when he did his back so I knew there was a chance I was going to play earlier in the day but I found out officially last night," 21-year-old Crawley told Sky Sports.

"Jos is a real nice guy so it's a real shame for him. You get chances sometimes and this one is mine. I'm disappointed for Jos but I'm glad to make my debut. I'm definitely excited, nervous as well but there's some excitement."

As well as the enforced change, England have made another alteration, with Jack Leach dropping out for Chris Woakes.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a grassy surface, England captain Joe Root explained the reasoning behind going without a specialist spinner.

"We're still trying to find ways to take 20 wickets in these conditions," he said at the toss. "We feel this is a great opportunity, on a surface like this, to try and explore something slightly different.

"It's pretty simple what we need to improve on, it was just about preparing well over the two days we've had and we've done that so it's now about going and playing, putting our heart and soul into these five days and making sure we come away with something."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, meanwhile, confirmed one change for his side, with Matt Henry replacing Trent Boult in the Black Caps' bowling attack at Seddon Park.

Joe Root has the support of everyone in the England dressing room when it comes to his Test captaincy, Ben Stokes has insisted.

Questions over Root's position have resurfaced in the wake of the chastening defeat to New Zealand in the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Monday.

England were beaten by an innings and 65 runs, with Root contributing just 13 as he dropped out of the top 10 of the ICC's Test batting rankings.

Stokes, however, says there is no better candidate for the role and believes pinning the blame for England's struggles on the captain alone is unfair.

"Joe knows that he's got the backing of everybody in the changing room: players, backroom staff and management," said the all-rounder, according to Cricinfo. "That's the main thing that counts for us as players in a very tightknit group. He knows that everybody in that changing room 100 per cent backs him, as I do.

"The pressures of being England Test captain is huge. It can be one of the most criticised jobs in England at times. And sometimes that criticism is unfair, I would say. There are 11 guys that contribute to a win or loss. It doesn't all fall on the captain.

"We put our hands up as players when we don't perform. But, unfortunately, Joe cops most of that [criticism]. But as a playing group, we stick together, and we hold our hands up together as well.

"He's fine. He's Joe Root. He is England captain and there's no one else to do it."

The opening Test was marred by racist abuse that England bowler Jofra Archer revealed he suffered from a spectator.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) launched an investigation and captain Kane Williamson promised to apologise in person after Archer said he heard racist insults from a member of the crowd.

Stokes, who has New Zealand and Maori heritage, described the incident as "pretty horrific" but said the country was better represented by those who offered their support towards Archer.

"I'm obviously very proud of my heritage and where I'm from," Stokes said. "I'll always respect that. The tattoo on my arm just signifies where the family comes from.

"Coming back to New Zealand, it's not just a cricket tour for me. It's also a great time to be able to catch up with family that I don't get to see that often. I came out a week before the Test guys to stay with my mum and dad, which was awesome. I got to see brothers, sisters, cousins and everything like that. Every time I manage to come back it's really good.

"It wasn't a nice way to end the Test match and it's a shame because that doesn't represent what New Zealand is about as a country whatsoever. New Zealand is more accurately represented by how much support Jofra has had, not just from the New Zealand cricket team, but New Zealand in general after that incident.

"That's the main thing for us now: making Jofra aware that we've got his back. It was a pretty horrific incident and something that shouldn't happen in sport or in the world in general in 2019."

Out-of-sorts England captain Joe Root has fallen out of the ICC's top 10 Test batting rankings, while Virat Kohli has closed the gap on Steve Smith at the top.

Root was ranked the world's best five-day batsman four years ago and had been in the top 10 since August 2014.

However, he has struggled for runs of late and made just 13 across two innings in England's heavy first Test defeat to New Zealand.

Smith, who made only four in Australia's recent win over Pakistan, remains at the top of the rankings, though his lead over Kohli is just three points following the India captain's 27th century against Bangladesh.

Kohli is one of four Indians in the top 10 - along with Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Mayank Agarwal - while New Zealand trio Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham also feature alongside Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne and England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Pat Cummins is still top of the bowling rankings for the longest format, with Black Caps left-armer Neil Wagner up to third thanks to his match figures of 8-134 in the win over England.

Joe Root lamented what he felt was a missed opportunity after England were crushed by New Zealand in the first Test on Monday.

England were bowled out for 197 in their second innings at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, falling to defeat by an innings and 65 runs.

Root elected to bat in the first Test, but England could only post 353 – a total the Black Caps raced past in making 615-9 declared to set up their victory.

The England skipper said it was a chance missed by his team as none of their batsmen made a century while BJ Watling (205) and Mitchell Santner (126) starred for New Zealand.

"We missed an opportunity when you look at the two first innings in comparison. We needed to get a score over 450 and to use that scoreboard pressure as an extra fielder," Root said.

"We did a lot of good stuff, we just need to do it for longer. It's different to the style of cricket we've had to play in our home conditions. There is stuff to address.

"It ended up being a good wicket over the course of five days. It was the right decision at the toss but not kicking on in that first innings has cost us the game.

"We can't panic and think it's the end of the world. We are working hard behind the scenes and if we come back strong, we'll hopefully level it up."

Neil Wagner (5-44) ripped through England on the final day, with only Joe Denly (35 off 142 balls) able to survive at least 100 deliveries.

Root rued England's batting and admitted there were several poor dismissals, including his own for 11.

"There were a few soft dismissals," he told Sky Sports.

"It can be quite difficult. You get yourself in a mood to defend and then you end up playing a half-hearted shot. I gave that ball [from Colin de Grandhomme] far too much respect, it should have gone for four or six over point."

The second and final Test starts in Hamilton on Friday.

England paceman Jofra Archer still underestimates his own talent, according to captain Joe Root.

Archer is only four games into his Test career, but has taken 22 wickets at an average of 20.27 and shapes as being a key in England's series against New Zealand.

But Root said the 24-year-old needed to have more belief in his own abilities ahead of the series opener in Mount Maunganui starting on Thursday.

"Jofra adds something slightly different to what we had previously, but one thing he underestimates is his own talent," Root said, via the Daily Mail.

"That pace through the air can be a big skill on its own. I want him to enjoy bowling, and to come away from here learning there is more than one way of taking wickets. He doesn't have to be seaming or swinging it round corners.

"He makes it look ridiculously easy with his action and the way he approaches the crease.

"But to be able to bowl at that pace for a period of time is a skill in itself, and I think he needs to understand that."

England named their team for the first game on Wednesday, with opener Dom Sibley set for his Test debut.

Meanwhile, New Zealand released Lockie Ferguson and Todd Astle from their squad.

Jos Buttler is feeling refreshed after the emotional grind of a Cricket World Cup and Ashes series and revealed he has been working with Marcus Trescothick to improve his red-ball game.

Buttler scored a century in England's drawn tour match against New Zealand A and heads into the Test series against the Black Caps as first-choice wicketkeeper.

The 29-year-old's touch with the bat and neat work with the gloves were among the plusses for England in the three-day contest.

After taking a five-week break to recover from a busy English summer, which resulted in World Cup glory and a drawn Ashes, Buttler is taking an open-minded approach into the two-Test series, for which he has been preparing with former Somerset team-mate and England opener Trescothick. 

"I've nothing to lose with the bat or the gloves," Buttler said. "It's a great time to be involved with a new head coach [Chris Silverwood]. It's a new challenge and I'm going to throw myself into it.

"It was a tough summer - physically and emotionally - great fun, a huge challenge and one you look back on with real fondness. But it took a lot out of most of us. The time we have had off has been invaluable.

"I had a couple of net sessions at Somerset with Marcus Trescothick during this time. I really enjoyed that and got a lot out of it. It gave some building blocks to come here feeling in good touch."

England may have fallen short of victory but skipper Joe Root was encouraged by his side's batting in Whangarei.

During the Ashes, England's highest first-innings score was 374 in the lost Edgbaston Test but they posted 405 all out here and Root wants to see his team making big numbers.

"We want to bat long, especially in the first innings - get ourselves into the game and give us an opportunity of making really big scores. Four-hundred-plus, as generally you can dictate terms from there," Root told Sky Sports.

"It is something we have struggled with over the last couple of years, granted that at home, in particular, we have played on some very challenging surfaces.

"On flatter surfaces, like here, I think it's really important that we get into that mindset.

"I think we have done that really well so far in the two games that we have played, with a couple of guys looking in really good order. I feel we are in pretty good shape going into two big Test matches."

England's coaching staff are hopeful James Anderson will be fit to feature in the upcoming tour of South Africa, according to Ashley Giles.

Anderson has not travelled with England's Test squad for the two-match tour of New Zealand, which starts next week.

The 37-year-old - England's record wicket-taker in red-ball cricket - sustained a calf injury in the first Ashes Test, which saw him miss the rest of the series.

However, England's managing director Giles is confident Anderson, who will be attending a pre-tour training camp in South Africa, will be able to face the Proteas.

"Jimmy is going out to Potchefstroom," Giles told BBC Sport. "We're hopeful. We think he is on track, which is great. The medical team are happy.

"The older you get these things tend to linger longer. We felt no point forcing it for this short tour.

"It will be interesting to see the pitches we play on in South Africa. I think they'll be green and they'll go for a bowler war and take us on. It's not something I'd take on with Jofra Archer and Jimmy Anderson, but it will be an exciting series."

Joe Root's captaincy was called into question at times through the Ashes, with Australia retaining the urn.

However, Giles stressed the plan is for the Yorkshireman to lead England during the next Ashes, which takes place in Australia in 2021-22.

"We have talked about Joe leading and winning in Australia. We've not said 'maybe if you get there.' We plan for him to be our captain," Giles added.

"That series will come around quickly as we know with the business of the schedules. None of us know what is around the corner, things can change quickly. But in our planning when we sat down even before the Headingley Test we were looking to Australia.

"That's the holy grail for Joe. Going to Australia and winning is the big prize and we have enough time to plan for that."

Joe Root says dropping back down to number four in the England order will benefit both himself and the Test side.

The skipper moved up to the troublesome number three spot for the drawn Ashes series.

Root averaged 32.50 at first drop, failing to make a century in 10 innings as Australia retained the urn.

England's premier batsman is set to move back down to his favoured position when the two-match series against New Zealand starts at Mount Maunganui next week, with Joe Denly expected to come in at three provided he recovers from an ankle injury.

He told BBC's Test Match Special: "I'd like to be consistent with it now, moving forward. It doesn't always work exactly how you want it to but it would be nice for that to be the case.

"I just think it suits my game a little bit more. It definitely fits in with captaincy a little bit better for me.

"I know previous captains have preferred to get out there early and just get amongst it but I quite like to split the two and to really focus on my batting.

"I've found over time that, generally, I've consistently played better in that position."

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