Virat Kohli was nearing a half-century when bad light stopped play in the World Test Championship final as India's captain led a recovery against New Zealand.

Day one of the showpiece was lost to rain and the players were met with gloomy, overcast conditions in Southampton for day two.

Such surroundings naturally suited New Zealand's pace attack, with the Black Caps, fresh off a 1-0 series win over England, reducing India to 88-3.

But, as he has done so often throughout his career, Kohli lifted India, reaching 44 not out with a disciplined innings that featured just one four before the fading light forced the players off.

India were 146-3 when stumps were called, a score that may have been deemed underwhelming after Rohit Sharma (34) and Shubman Gill put on 62 for the opening wicket.

Yet the continually impressive Kyle Jamieson broke that stand with a full delivery that drew a thick edge from Rohit.

New Zealand applied the pressure and just one run had been added when Gill's stay at the crease was ended with Neil Wagner's third delivery, which saw the opener caught behind for 28.

Kohli steadied the ship, but Cheteshwar Pujara, having slashed a four through backward point and then creamed another through the covers, eventually succumbed to a vintage delivery from Trent Boult, whose inswinger trapped him in front.

However, the India skipper found a partner with staying power in Ajinkya Rahane, who found the rope four times in his unbeaten 29 before the light meters returned a result that stopped their progress cold.


PUJARA'S POOR FORM PERSISTS

With his dismissal for eight, Pujara has failed to score more than 21 runs in each of his past six innings. He has scores of 15, 21, seven, none, 17 and eight since his first-innings 73 against England in Chennai in February. The 33-year-old is out of form and it is fair to wonder whether he will keep his place with a series against England on the horizon.

WILL SPOILS BE SHARED?

Had this game been played a week earlier, there would have been no doubt of a result as England was bathed in sunshine. Now, even with the prospect of using a reserve day, it is questionable whether there will be enough play to deliver a result, with rain forecast on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The final could turn into a non-event, and there is an increasing likelihood the teams will share the Test Championship mace.

India and New Zealand were frustrated by the English weather as day one of the inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton was washed out.

Rain on Friday meant the International Cricket Council (ICC) showpiece match could not get under way as planned at the Ageas Bowl, with players seen splashing through puddles on the outfield as they checked out the conditions.

The decision to call off the day's scheduled play came at close to 14:45 local time. Weather forecasts for the area suggest rain could be a factor on several days of the match.

Wednesday has been set aside as a reserve day, to allow the teams to make up any time lost if necessary.

The ICC said on Twitter: "Due to persistent rain, play has been abandoned on day one of the #WTC21 Final in Southampton."

India and New Zealand were frustrated by the English weather as day one of the inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton was washed out.

Rain on Friday meant the International Cricket Council (ICC) showpiece match could not get under way as planned at the Ageas Bowl, with players seen splashing through puddles on the outfield as they checked out the conditions.

The decision to call off the day's scheduled play came at close to 14:45 local time. Weather forecasts for the area suggest rain could be a factor on several days of the match.

Wednesday has been set aside as a reserve day, to allow the teams to make up any time lost if necessary.

The ICC said on Twitter: "Due to persistent rain, play has been abandoned on day one of the #WTC21 Final in Southampton."

Spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been named in India's side for the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl.

The Black Caps did not face a frontline spinner in a 1-0 Test series victory over England, but they will have to contend with two in Southampton.

Ashwin and Jadeja were named in a five-match bowling attack along with Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah on the eve of an inaugural final that is due to start on Friday, but poor weather could result in an opening-day washout.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling are expected to be fit to return after missing the decisive second Test win over England at Edgbaston.

Watling will be playing in the final match of his professional career if he gets the nod to replace Tom Blundell.

Wednesday has been set aside as a reserve day in case a full five days cannot be completed and that may be required with rain and storms forecast.

New Zealand are top of the rankings and come into the game on a high after securing their first Test series win in England since 1999, hammering Joe Root's side by eight wickets early on day four.

They demonstrated their strength in depth by making six changes, with Matt Henry claiming the man of the match award after he was among the players to come into the side.

Skipper Williamson, who has been troubled by an elbow injury, is delighted with the strides his side have made and says there is more to come.

"There's been a lot of growth over a period of time so many challenges along the way every day but the team has bought into it and tried to move past those with a good attitude," the prolific batsman said.

"There is lot of hard work done over a long period of time to find ourselves here in the first final.

"It's exciting but for us it's just focusing on continuing that growth and trying to keep committing to the parts of our game that give us the best chance and that's where I know the guys will be focusing on. We are trying to look at the long game and try and improve all the time."

 

INDIA IN A QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE - KOHLI

Captain Virat Kohli says India will remain in a quest for excellence regardless of the outcome in the final.

He said: "For us as a team we have been on a quest for excellence for a while now. And we are going to continue to be on that path regardless of what happens in this game. We have no doubts whatsoever in our abilities and what we can do as a side.

"As an individual player, look, we won the 2011 World Cup which was a great moment for all of us. But cricket goes on. Just the way life goes on. And you have to treat failure and success the same way, and you have to treat the so-called outstandingly big moments pretty similar to the other moments as well.

"So, yes, it is an occasion that has to be enjoyed from our point of view, but it is not different for us or no more important for us than the first Test match that we played together as a young group of players back in the day when we were trying to come up the ranks. So, yes, the mindset remains the same."
 

BLACK CAPS SPOILT FOR CHOICE

New Zealand's bowlers tore through England in the second innings at Edgbaston, skittling them out for only 122 in another demonstration that the selectors are spoilt for choice.

Henry, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and India-born spinner Ajaz Patel did the damage as Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson were among the players given a chance to put their feet up.

Pacemen Southee and Jamieson starred when New Zealand whitewashed India 2-0 last year.

Southee was named man of the match with match figures of 9-110 in the first Test at Basin Reserve and Jamieson picked up the award in the second match, taking 5-45 in the first innings. 

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- The previous seven Tests matches between the two nations have seen each team pick up three wins (D1).
- India have lost each of their previous two matches at the venue against England, while this will be the Black Caps' first Test at the ground.
- Kohli's side have lost just one of their past seven Tests (W5, D1), the loss coming at home to England in February.
- No spinner has dismissed Williamson more times in Test cricket than Ashwin (five, also Pragyan Ojha). His false shot percentage of 21.9 per cent against Ashwin is his highest against any bowler he has faced a minimum of 150 balls.

Kane Williamson and BJ Watling are expected to be fit to play for New Zealand against India in the ICC World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl.

Captain Williamson missed the second Test of the series with England due to an elbow issue, while a back injury stopped wicketkeeper Watling from playing in that game at Edgbaston.

However, the duo have both been included in a 15-man squad for the decider with India, which begins on Friday.

There is also a place for Ajaz Patel as the specialist spinner ahead of Mitchell Santner, while Colin de Grandhomme is the all-rounder and Will Young will provide batting cover. Tom Blundell - who took over behind the stumps in Birmingham - will be Watling's understudy.

Along with Santner, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra are the other players to miss out on selection.

"There's had to be some tough calls with Mitchell and Daryl victims of the fierce competition we currently have for places in the Test side," said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.

"We’ve gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl.

"Colin's been an integral member of our Test set-up for many years and it was great to see him return at Lord’s after a long injury lay-off. He’s a proven performer at the top level and we back him to do a job with the bat or the ball if called upon.

"Kane and BJ have certainly benefitted from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final."

Despite the absences of Williamson and Watling, a much-changed New Zealand side won the second Test against England, in the process securing a 1-0 series victory over their hosts.

The Black Caps are on an eight-match unbeaten run in the format, while India have lost just once in their previous seven Tests. In the past seven meetings between the countries, both have won three apiece to go along with a solitary draw.
 

New Zealand squad for ICC World Test Championship final: 

Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young

Joe Root insists lessons must be learned by his England side after they suffered an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the second Test at Edgbaston.

New Zealand clinched just their third series win in England – and first since 1999 – as they eased to a win which takes them to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

The Black Caps, who face India in the ICC Test Championship final next week, did the damage on Saturday, leaving England heading into day four on 122-9 in their second innings.

Trent Boult dismissed Olly Stone with the first delivery on Sunday, and New Zealand tallied up the 38 they required to win within the hour, although Devon Conway and Will Young lost their wickets.

England do not play another Test series until August, when they host India, and Root knows there is much to improve upon.

"More than anything, it's what we can take from it. You can have bad sessions on occasion with the ball but you can't have a session like that with the bat," he said at the post-match presentation.

"That's cost us, but throughout the game New Zealand outplayed us. If we lose quick wickets, how are we going to get through that? Mentally we have to make sure we're resilient and we manage passages of play better.

"It's the lessons from watching the opposition, using the experience in the dressing room, and trying to make sure when you're in the same situation to don't make the same mistakes.

"You can look for excuses but they outplayed us, they played good cricket and we've not matched that. We know we're better than this."

England have white-ball series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan coming up, and Root is hoping a switch to a different format will offer a reset for some of the squad.

"Freeing the mind, look at the game in a different context, it can liberate you. It's the chance to go back into a different format and find rhythm," he added.

"You can never beat wickets and runs."

New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham surpassed 4,000 Test runs on Sunday, and fittingly clipped away the winning boundary.

"Great to have that performance, through the four days it was outstanding, with a few changes, everyone came out and did their roles. It was a complete team performance," he said.

"[England have] a fantastic attack, a lot of wickets among them. We played them really well on surfaces we weren't expecting at Lord's and here. I thought we adapted well."

Tom Latham surpassed 4,000 Test runs as he led New Zealand to a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph over England in the second Test at Edgbaston.

The damage had been done on Saturday, as England collapsed to 122-9 in their second innings, leaving the Black Caps on the verge of their first Test series win in England since 1999.

Trent Boult sent Olly Stone back to the pavilion with the first delivery of day four, leaving New Zealand chasing a mere 38.

Devon Conway was dismissed in the second over, though stand-in captain Latham (23) ticked off a milestone as New Zealand cruised to a maiden Test win at Edgbaston, setting themselves up for the ICC Test Championship final against India in emphatic fashion.

Any possibilities of complacency creeping in from New Zealand were dashed before a minute of play, Boult's supreme delivery nicking off Stone's edge and through to Tom Blundell.

A maiden over from James Anderson – whose record-setting Test match has not gone according to script – kept Latham, six off his 4,000th run in the longest format, at bay, and Stuart Broad subsequently gave the crowd something to cheer.

Conway fished at a delivery outside his off stump, with James Bracey gathering it in.

Latham and Will Young knew the Test was won, though, with sensible shots from New Zealand's stand-in skipper ticking him towards the landmark, which came when he nudged Broad for a single.

Mark Wood very nearly ran Latham out with an acrobatic, underarm throw from close range, though even that wicket would have been immaterial.

After clipping a brilliant shot through backward point, Young dragged a wider Stone delivery onto his stumps, but Latham fittingly had the final say.

A sublime flick to the legside boundary was followed up by a deft touch through to third man to seal a 1-0 series win, just New Zealand's second in England.

No home comforts for sorry England

England's footballers get their Euro 2020 campaign started on Sunday, and the Edgbaston crowd were singing "football's coming home" as they watched the cricketers learn a brutal lesson in the Birmingham sunshine.

Joe Root's team, who have lost a series on home soil for the first time since 2014, do not convene again until they host India in August. While they had injuries to key players, along with off-the-field issues that marred the first Test, England have much to improve on, with their batting once again letting their bowling attack down.

Black Caps top the rankings as dominance over England rolls on

With this triumph, New Zealand have moved ahead of India to the top of the ICC Test rankings, though the ultimate test will of course come in the inaugural ICC Test Championship final against Virat Kohli's team in Southampton next week.

New Zealand may have ended a dismal run in England, but overall, they have now not lost a Test to them since 2015 – a run of seven.

England collapsed to 122-9 in their second innings against New Zealand at Edgbaston in the second Test – a paltry advantage of 37 that leaves Joe Root's side on the verge of a 1-0 series defeat.

Beginning their second innings 85 runs in arrears after dismissing New Zealand for 388, the hosts lost Rory Burns for nought to the second ball of the innings – the opener reaching for a Matt Henry delivery and edging to stand-in captain Tom Latham at second slip.

Henry (3-36) got one to nip back at Dom Sibley (8), who could only squirt the ball to Daryl Mitchell in the cordon, and it was 30-3 when the seamer trapped the off-colour Zak Crawley lbw for 17.

Crawley reviewed more in hope than expectation, much like Ollie Pope, whose breezy 23 off 20 balls ended when all-action left arm paceman Neil Wagner brought one back in to the right hander.

Like Burns, Dan Lawrence followed passing 80 in the first innings with a second-ball duck, Wagner (3-18) having him caught behind before Ajaz Patel again exposed the folly of England failing to pick a specialist spinner.

Patel bowled James Bracey (8) sweeping and when Root edged to keeper Tom Blundell when trying to cut the slow left-armer – concluding a painstaking 11 from 61 deliveries – the game was emphatically up for his side.

That brought Mark Wood and Olly Stone together with the score on 76-7, something of an unfair predicament for the two fast bowlers, who worked tirelessly on a fairly benign surface to briefly bring their team back into the contest.

New Zealand had progressed to 290-3, within 13 of England's first-innings total, when Stone (2-92) had Ross Taylor caught behind for 80, with Henry Nicholls (21) falling in similar fashion to Wood (2-85).

Stuart Broad (4-48) had Blundell caught by Root at slip for 34 and got Patel lbw for 20 on review to finish as the pick of the England attack.

By stumps he had been and gone with the bat, bowled by Trent Boult for one after Wagner ended Wood's fun on 29, leaving Stone (15 not out) with only last man James Anderson for company.

Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence provided England with a platform as an enthralling opening day of the second Test against New Zealand ended evenly poised.

Fresh from a century in the drab opening draw at Lord's, Burns made 81 in front of 18,000 raucous fans at Edgbaston who were treated to a fascinating 90 overs.

Lawrence then reached the close unbeaten on 67 after the Black Caps fought back in the afternoon session having struggled for inroads in the morning, with England closing on 258-7.

On a day when it was confirmed James Anderson – England's all-time leading wicket taker – would become the team's most-capped player with 162 appearances, the hosts made sedate progress in the opening session.

Alongside Dom Sibley (35), Burns helped England reach 67-0 by lunch, but the loss of three wickets for the addition of only 13 runs threatened to see things unravel.

Sibley was the first to fall with a feather behind off the brilliant Matt Henry (2-66), before the badly out of form Zak Crawley lasted only four balls when he slashed one off Neil Wagner (1-62) to third slip.

Captain Joe Root fell cheaply, chopping behind off Henry, as all the while Burns provided a steadying hand, bringing up a half-century in 141 balls and putting on 42 with Ollie Pope (19), who was dismissed when playing a poor shot off the left-arm spin of Ajaz Patel.

Trent Boult, back in the New Zealand side having spent time with family following the suspended IPL season, convinced Burns to go for the drive that picked out stand-in captain Tom Latham at second slip, and the same man sent James Bracey back for a golden duck.

But Lawrence gave England much-needed resistance, making a brisk half-century off just 75 balls – putting on a valuable 47 with Olly Stone (20) and seeing out the day with Mark Wood (16 not out).


CRAWLEY FALTERS AGAIN 

There was something all too familiar about the way England's batting order threatened to unravel, with the luckless Crawley emblematic of the tale of woe.

Since making 267 against Pakistan last August, he has recorded nine single-digit scores in the following 11 Test innings. He was far from the only culprit, but Crawley needs a score from somewhere.

HENRY TURNS THE TIDE

Root will have been delighted with the way England saw out the opening session with the minimum of fuss, but not so enthralled by a New Zealand comeback led by Henry.

Spells of devastating pace and swing had England rocking and had it not been for Burns and Lawrence giving the hosts some backbone, the tourists would have been in command. As it is, the hosts have 300 in their sights and the likes of Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood will have plenty to take encouragement from when they get the ball in their hands.

James Anderson's incredible career will reach a new high when he becomes England's most-capped Test player at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The indefatigable seamer will surpass his former team-mate and close friend Alastair Cook's tally of 161 appearances in the longest format when he faces New Zealand in the second and decisive final Test of the series.

Anderson, who turns 39 next month and is seventh on the list of most capped players from any country, will break the record 18 years after making his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's.

Stats Perform looks at some of the astonishing numbers the evergreen Lancastrian has racked up, including a staggering 30 five-wicket hauls and at least 10 wickets in a match on three occasions.

Record-breaking seamer closing in on Kumble

Anderson surpassed the record held by Australia great Glenn McGrath for the most wickets taken by a Test seamer when he dismissed India's Mohammed Shami in 2018.

McGrath claimed 563 scalps in an outstanding career but Anderson's haul now stands at 616.

England's record Test wicket-taker is only three wickets shy of matching Anil Kumble's total and will go third on the all-time list when he betters the former India spinner's haul.

 

A menace against India

Anderson's ability to generate deadly swing and seam has caused many India batsmen problems over the years.

He has taken more Test wickets against India than any other side, with 118 from 30 matches at an average of 25.29 - including four five-wicket hauls.

Fierce rivals Australia are next on the list of teams Anderson has taken the most wickets against, with 104 in 32 Ashes contests at 34.56 apiece.

 

Lethal at Lord's

Anderson announced himself on the Test stage by taking 5-73 on debut at Lord's in Zimbabwe's first innings back in May 2003.

He has thrived on playing at the Home of Cricket, taking 105 wickets in 24 Tests at the world-famous London ground at an average of 24.64

Only Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan has claimed more on a single venue, doing so at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo (166), Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy (117) and Galle International Stadium (111).

 

Living on the edge

Anderson has had more batsmen caught behind than any bowler in Test history.

As many as 168 of Anderson's dismissals have been taken by the wicketkeeper, which is 27.27 per cent of his wickets.

McGrath is next on the list with 152, while team-mate Stuart Broad has got batsmen to nick off on 124 occasions.
 

Record a batsman would be proud of

Anderson is certainly not known for his ability with the bat, despite being dubbed 'The Burnley Lara'.

Yet he went 54 Tests innings before being out for a duck, finally departing without troubling with scorers against Australia in August 2009.

AB de Villiers (78), Aravinda de Silva (75), Clive Lloyd and Ross Taylor (both 58) are the only men to have had more knocks without departing for nought.

Joe Root is hoping England's Test team respond positively amid scrutiny of their behaviour, with the ECB currently investigating several players for historic social media posts.

Ollie Robinson's Test debut at Lord's last week was marred when offensive Twitter posts by the paceman – posted in 2012 and 2013 – were highlighted.

The 27-year-old had an impressive debut on the field in the series-opening draw with New Zealand, but is now suspended while the ECB conduct an investigation.

It has subsequently been reported that posts from several England players across the Test and one-day set-ups are also being looked into.

However, Root is now hoping for a full switch of focus back to the matter at hand, which is England attempting to clinch a series win over the Black Caps at Edgbaston.

"We want to move forward in a really positive way," Root told BBC Sport.

"We've had to face up to some ugly truths this past week or so and there will be challenges moving forward.

"But the group of players we have now is very much committed to moving the game forward, to making it a better place, making it more inclusive and educating ourselves further.

"We're going to have to front up to what has happened, but ultimately we want to move forward in a really positive way, to keep going on this journey we've started of trying to better our sport.

"We will continue to do that because that's how we all feel."

A near-capacity crowd of 17,000 will be allowed at Edgbaston as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, and Root is aiming to put on a show for the spectators, after his team received some criticism for holding out for a draw on the final day at Lord's, rather than attempt to mount a 273-run chase.

"We're all very aware we're in the entertainment business," Root, who wants to dispel any notion of his team being negative, told reporters.

"We all want to be part of those games, those special games that provide that entertainment. They're the ones that you remember.

"The ones that stick in my mind are the World Cup final, Headingley, Cape Town – the ones that go to the wire, they're the ones you remember as a player, and want to have big contributions in.

"I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision [at Lord's]. We've turned up here with an opportunity to win the series, albeit it is not part of the Test championship, but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group.

"We're very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we'll definitely look to be aggressive.

"I don't want us to be considered a negative team who play a boring brand of cricket.

"We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket and hopefully that will come to light this week."

James Anderson is poised to make history when England attempt to maintain their perfect Test record against New Zealand at Edgbaston and seal a series win.

Anderson is set to become his country's most-capped Test player in Birmingham on Thursday, surpassing his close friend and former team-mate Alastair Cook's tally of 161.

England's leading Test wicket-taker is expected to get the nod to retain his place in the England attack following a drab draw at Lord's

The Black Caps were unable to force a victory on the final day of the first match in London, with Joe Root's side showing no intention of chasing down a target of 273 after Kane Williamson declared at lunch.

England have won all four Test matches against the Black Caps in Birmingham, but this will be the first time they have played at the venue since July 1999.

Victory for the tourists would be the perfect preparation for the ICC World Test Championship final against India at the Ageas Bowl.

The game has been overshadowed by off-field issues, with England fast bowler Ollie Robinson suspended pending an investigation into historic racist and sexist tweets he sent.

It then emerged on Monday that a second unnamed England player is under investigation for social media posts he made before turning 16.

With Robinson absent, Craig Overton or Olly Stone could come into the England team. Jack Leach is also hoping for a recall, while fellow spinner Dom Bess was added to the squad for a match that will see crowds of around 18,000 allowed in.

New Zealand, meanwhile, will be without captain Williamson.

He will sit out of the match as he tries to give a lingering elbow injury time to heal ahead of the World Test Championship Final against India next week, and Tom Latham will step up to lead the Black Caps.

ANDERSON REFLECTS ON TOUGH TEST START

"My first ball was a no-ball and there were a lot of nerves there," Anderson said when reminiscing about his first Test appearance, against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2003. 

"I remember Nasser Hussain didn't have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs.

"No disrespect to Zimbabwe but playing against teams like South Africa, Australia and India, once you put in performances against the top teams in the world, that's when you think you can perform at that level.

"It did take a few years and a few tours around the world to make me think I could do it."

Anderson finished his debut with figures of 5-73. His tally of 616 wickets heading into Thursday's match means he is the most successful fast bowler in history.

KANE OUT BUT LATHAM MORE THAN ABLE

"It is not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it is the right one," said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.

"He's had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he's been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise his recovery."

Williamson will be a big miss for the tourists, but Latham has plenty of experience. The opener averages 41.97 across 57 Tests, though he could not build on starts in the first Test as he scored 23 and 36.

Meanwhile, paceman Trent Boult could be in line to return, as he looks to regain some match sharpness ahead of the India showdown.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Anderson is four wickets away from eclipsing India's Anil Kumble (619) as the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

- New Zealand's Latham (3,988 – 99 innings) is 12 runs shy from becoming the ninth Black Caps player to register 4,000 runs in Test cricket.

- Joe Root has scored 4,105 runs in Tests since the beginning of July 2017 when he played his first match as England captain; his tally is the most by any player in that time (Virat Kohli – 2,993).

- New Zealand are undefeated in their last six Tests against England (W3, D3), the last time they recorded a longer unbeaten run against them was an 11-match span from January 1984 to June 1990 (W2, D9).

New Zealand will rest captain Kane Williamson in the second Test against England, meaning opening batsman Tom Latham will skipper the side.

After the opening encounter was drawn, the two-match series will be decided at Edgbaston from Thursday.

But New Zealand will be without world number one Test batsman Williamson, who registered scores of 13 and 1 in the opener at Lord's.

He will sit out of the match as he tries to give a lingering elbow injury time to heal ahead of World Test Championship Final against India next week.

Latham will therefore lead the team for the third time in his career and Will Young, who has just two Test innings to his name, has been brought into the starting XI to bat at number three.

"It is not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it is the right one," said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.

"He’s had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he's been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise his recovery.

"The decision has been made very much with the ICC World Test Championship Final at Southampton in mind and we are confident he will be ready for that match starting on June 18."

New Zealand are also expected to rest some of their fast bowlers against England ahead of the crucial match with India.

They are undefeated in their past six Tests against England (W3, D3).

The last time New Zealand recorded a longer unbeaten run against them was an 11-match span from January 1984 to June 1990 (W2, D9).

Ollie Robinson's suspension by England for historic racist and sexist social media posts is "over the top", according to Oliver Dowden.

Sussex bowler Robinson took 7-101 as well as contributing 42 runs in his Test debut as England drew with New Zealand last week.

Shortly after the conclusion of the match at Lord's, it was confirmed by the ECB he had been "suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013".

The messages, posted when Robinson was 18 and 19, were brought to light over the course of his international bow. The player said he was "ashamed".

Although Robinson could yet return to the England fold following the conclusion of the investigation, his suspension has provoked debate.

Dowden, the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, suggested on Monday it was an excessive punishment.

"Ollie Robinson's tweets were offensive and wrong," Dowden wrote on his own Twitter page.

"They are also a decade old and written by a teenager. The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised.

"The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again."

The England team, including Robinson, had worn anti-discrimination T-shirts carrying messages regarding racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and ageism ahead of play starting in the first Test last Wednesday.

Robinson said later that day: "On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public.

"I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist. I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks.

"I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets."

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