England finished Day 2 at Hamilton on 39/2, still 336 behind New Zealand in the first innings. Rory Burns (24*) has looked uncomfortable at the top (he has been dropped by Ross Taylor and Jeet Raval). He will resume batting alongside Joe Root (6*). This, after Tim Southee (1/24) had trapped Dom Sibley (4) leg-before, and Matt Henry (1/10) had Joe Denly (4) caught behind.
Remember, England need to win the Test to level the series, but that seems improbable at this point. They will do well to keep New Zealand on the field all day – another unlikely occurrence unless it rains.
The in-form Ben Stokes holds key, but all eyes are likely to be on Root himself. Not in the best of forms, the onus will be on him to change the fortune for him and his team.
The day began well for England. Tom Latham (105) shouldered arms to one from Stuart Broad (4/73) that straightened, while Henry Nicholls (16) hooked Sam Curran (2/63) to deep fine leg. At this stage New Zealand were 191/5.
Then BJ Watling (55) – in the greatest form of his life – added 124 with debutant Daryl Mitchell (73). New Zealand accelerated once the partnership broke, getting out for 375 as Broad, Curran, Jofra Archer (1/75), and Chris Woakes (3/83) all got wickets.
Mitchell Santner led the charge, hitting two sixes off Archer (including one that hit a security guard, then knocking the shades off a spectator). Tim Southee, too, smashed three fours during his over-a-run-a-ball cameo.
Tim Southee (New Zealand): Southee had ripped through England's middle order in the first innings of the first Test. Spearheading the attack in the absence of Trent Boult, he has already hit Sibley on the head before getting him, and will play a key role.
Joe Root (England): Root averages under 28 this year, and has fallen behind in the battle with Steven Smith, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson. Who else but the captain to lead the turnaround?
New Zealand 375 (Tom Latham 105, Daryl Mitchell 73; Stuart Broad 4/73, Chris Woakes 3/83) lead England 39/2 (Rory Burns 24*; Matt Henry 1/10) by 336 runs.
New Zealand to bowl England out and pile on runs.