England assistant coach Paul Collingwood admitted the side’s attempts to enter a new era remain “a work in progress” after New Zealand seized control of the first LV= Insurance Test on day two at Lord’s.
An unbroken 180-run stand between Black Caps pair Daryl Mitchell (97no) and Tom Blundell (90no) was worth more than either team’s first-innings total, seeing the tourists progress their score from 56-4 to 236 without further loss.
Trailing by 227 runs, England are in danger of beginning the Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum era with a defeat and extending a run of one win in their last 17 Tests to 18.
“We know that things aren’t going to change overnight. It’s going to take some time that we get the team playing the way we want them to play. Obviously, that’s a work in progress,” Collingwood said at the end of day two.
“Brendon’s a glass half-full kind of man. He’ll stay calm, he won’t change his values and beliefs just because of one innings, that’s for sure, and neither will Ben.
“We came out of that first day all evens, both teams got pretty much exactly the same score. It’s disappointing that we haven’t gone ahead and created a big lead, but if you dwell on it for the rest of the game that’s no good. This game’s not out of our reach yet.”
England vs New Zealand
June 4, 2022, 10:15am
Collingwood, a T20 World Cup-winning captain with England in his own playing days, also saw signs of encouragement from captain Stokes as he tried to conjure a breakthrough that never came.
“From our point of view, we tried everything, and you can see in Ben that we’ve got a proactive captain who is willing to try different things,” Collingwood added.
One of the options at Stokes’ disposal was the leg-spin of Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson, who was drafted in for his Test debut as a concussion substitute for Jack Leach, who injured himself in the field early on day one.
Parkinson made a long-awaited debut after two years on the fringes of the team but failed to create any real danger for the resolute Mitchell and Blundell over the course of 14 overs.
The 25-year-old got through 14 wicketless overs for 43 runs as he struggled to force errors from the two set batsmen, with only gentle spin on offer.
“I’m sure it’s been a big shock for him, he was in his back garden on Thursday afternoon,” Collingwood said.
“He gets a phone call, rushes down to London, receives his cap off Jeetan Patel and goes straight out there. There wasn’t a hell of a lot of assistance out there, but you can see he is a pretty accurate leg-spin bowler and I’m sure he’s delighted with the experience.”
New Zealand wicketkeeper Blundell, who is closing in on a third Test century after 182 balls of hard work, said that helping the team was a bigger priority than any personal goals heading into day three.
“We’ve got a job to do for the team, then the milestones take care of themselves,” Blundell said.
“It would mean a lot, but there is a long way to go in this game. It was a tough situation to come into, but me and Daryl showed intent and on that sort of wicket, if you show that intent the runs will come.
“We just spoke about trying to build a partnership and we ended the day pretty well.”
Watch day three of the first LV=Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, at Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.15am on Saturday.