Review of NZ-Eng Test series, 2017-18 (I)

New Zealand won the series 1-0 with one draw. Victories for New Zealand against England are quite rare; they have won at home only once before, in 1983-84 and now in 2017-18. In England, they have won only in 1986 and 1999. This was therefore their first series win against England since 1999, almost a generation ago.

Here is a summary of all Tests between these sides:

Overall summary

The highlight (or rather lowlight) of the series was England’s dismissal for 58 in the first innings of the series. It sent cricket followers searching for England’s lowest totals. It was more than their lowest total of 45 against Australia over a century ago, which they still won by 13 runs. But it is still quite far down, besides being the lowest-ever total in a pink-ball Test:

England’s lowest Test totals (75 and below):

England lowest scores

It was indeed their lowest total against New Zealand, less than the 64 which marked New Zealand’s first Test victory against England in 1977-78 spearheaded by the up-and-coming Richard Hadlee while Geoff Boycott captained England for a short time.

We now look at individual performances.

Most runs (750 and above):

Most runs

John Wright is the unlikely leader here, ahead of Martin Crowe. The latter does have the most centuries (5) while the former has the most scores of 50+ (11). 4 others have 10 scores of 50+

Cook and R Taylor are the only current players here.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

Highest innings

We do have Walter Hammond’s 336* (then a world record surpassing Bradman’s 334) and 227, which gave him 563 runs in the series at 563.00 which no one is likely to overtake. There is also JH Edrich’s 52 4s in an innings which is still a record (Sehwag is next with 47 in his 254).

The last few series have been quite low-scoring as the only recent 150+ scores were by Cook in 2015 and H Rutherford in 2013.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and average 35.00):

Batting average

The top two names are somewhat unexpected. Once again, there are only Cook and Taylor among current players.

To be continued.