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New Zealand v England combined XI after Black Caps win Test series

New Zealand v England combined XI after Black Caps win Test series
New Zealand sealed a series win over England (Picture: Getty)

New Zealand sealed a 1-0 series win over England as centuries from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor helped the hosts draw the second Test.

Black Caps skipper Williamson and batsman Taylor both scored unbeaten tons to guide New Zealand to a series-winning draw in Hamilton.

The result means England, who lost the first Test by an innings and 65 runs, have not won in New Zealand since 2008.

But which players impressed most during the brief series and who deserves a place in Metro.co.uk’s combined XI?

Rory Burns – England (184 runs @ 61.33, HS 104)

The Surrey opener built upon his impressive performances in the Ashes with another productive series here, scoring a century in the second Test to follow his gritty half-century on day one in Mount Maunganui.

His technique may be awkward and ungainly, but it is proving more than effective and Burns is expected to open for England for many years to come.

England opener Rory Burns enjoyed another productive series (Picture: Getty)

Tom Latham – New Zealand (131 runs @ 43.66, HS 105)

Missed out in the first Test but produced a classy innings this week to hold the New Zealand first-innings together and thwart England’s hopes of mounting a fightback.

It was Latham’s fifth ton in ten Test innings and further evidence that the left-hander is quickly emerging as one of the most assured openers in world cricket.

Kane Williamson – New Zealand (159 runs @ 79.50, HS 104)

Would have backed himself to go big in Tauranga after passing fifty but was undone by a brilliant delivery from Sam Curran. Was not too be denied in Hamilton, however, and his 213-run partnership with Taylor prevented England from even dreaming of a comeback win.

Led from the front with bat and in the field. Already a New Zealand great.

Joe Root – England (239 runs @ 79.66, HS 226)

Questions were asked of Root’s technique and mindset after two failures in the first Test but he responded brilliantly this week, scoring a wonderful 226 – his second-highest Test score.

Still needs to convince some of his captaincy credentials but his hands were tied in New Zealand due to the docile nature of both pitches.

Ben Stokes – England (145 runs @ 48.33, HS 91 | 2 wickets @ 84.00, BBI 2-74)

Looked in phenomenal touch in the first Test and essentially threw away a century when he advanced down the pitch to be dismissed on 91.

Also bowled well in Mount Maunganui but an injury concern ensured he became less of a presence with the ball in the second Test.

Black Caps star BJ Watling impressed with bat and gloves (Picture: Getty)

BJ Watling – New Zealand (260 runs @ 130.00, HS 205 | 8 dismissals)

Is there a better Test wicket-keeper batsman anywhere in the world? The 34-year-old helped New Zealand grind England into the dirt with a stunning double century in Tauranga.

It was the defining innings of the series and set the tone for what followed. Made 55 in his only other innings and kept well throughout. One of the stars of the series.

Colin de Grandhomme – New Zealand (65 runs @ 65.00, HS 65 | 3 wickets @ 18.66, BBI 2-41)

Was ruled out of the second Test through injury but showed his class with bat and ball in the opener, claiming impressive match figures of 3-56 from 33 overs and hitting 65.

Rarely gets clock at more than 80mph on the speed gun but proved a constant threat to England’s batsmen and dismissed both openers and skipper Root.

Mitchell Santner – New Zealand (149 runs @ 74.50, HS 126 | 4 wickets @ 41.25, BBI 3-53)

Scored an unlikely century as New Zealand piled on the runs in Mount Maunganui, before dismissing three of England’s top four batters in the emphatic victory.

Had a quieter game this week but did not let his team-mates down with bat or ball.

Neil Wagner returned brilliant figures in a series dominated by the bat (Picture: Getty)

Sam Curran – England (6 wickets @ 39.66, BBI 3-119)

Deserves credit for being the only England bowler to take at least one wicket in each New Zealand innings. Dismissed Williamson with a jaffa in Tauranga.

Just about edges out Chris Woakes, who returned to the side in the second Test and took four wickets in Hamilton, including figures of 3-83 in the first innings.

Tim Southee – New Zealand (7 wickets @ 34.00, BBI 4-88)

It was Southee who tore through England’s middle order on day two of the opening Test, preventing the tourists from reaching a first-innings score that would have made defeat nigh on impossible.

Only one bowler – Neil Wagner – finished the series with more wickets than Southee, who was able to move back above his injured team-mate Trent Boult in New Zealand’s list of all-time wicket-takers.

Neil Wagner – New Zealand (13 wickets @ 19.84, BBI 5-44)

A player who is quickly climbing up that list is left-arm pace bowler Wagner. Given the conditions, Wagner’s return for the series – 13 wickets at an average of less than 20 – was simply outstanding.

With his pace, bounce and subtle variations, the 33-year-old proved a constant thorn in England’s side and will be hoping for more success later in the winter when New Zealand tour Australia.

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