England seamer Ollie Robinson bagged his first Test wicket in his fourth over on debut before New Zealand reached lunch at Lord’s on 85-1 as the international summer began.
Robinson, whose first delivery was a no-ball, forced Tom Latham (23) to chop onto his stumps in the 16th over of the day as an opening stand with New Zealand debutant Devon Conway (43no from 62 balls) ended on 58.
Sussex star Robinson is one of two England new boys in this Test – which is the first in England to host fans since September 2019 – with wicketkeeper James Bracey the other man making his international bow.
Bracey, the first Gloucestershire player to play for England since Jon Lewis in 2006, took his place behind the stumps after New Zealand elected to bat, in what is the Black Caps’ first game at Lord’s since their agonising defeat to England on boundary countback in the 2019 World Cup final.
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England and New Zealand took different approaches with team selection – the hosts opting against the frontline spin of Jack Leach and going in with a four-pronged pace attack of Robinson, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad and James Anderson but the tourists picking left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.
Anderson – playing his 161st Test, moving him level with record England cap-holder Sir Alastair Cook – and Stuart Broad – named vice-captain for this series with Ben Stokes injured and Jos Buttler rested – shared the new ball but were unable to make a breakthrough.
Robinson did strike, though, roaring in delight and being hugged by his team-mates after removing Latham, a dismissal which gave him the chance to bowl at New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (13no).
Robinson spoke on Sunday about how he planned to dismiss Williamson, saying: “It looks like swinging it away from him, pulling him across the crease and then using the nip-backer to get him lbw is a solid option.”
The 27-year-old – preferred in the side to fellow in-form seamer Craig Overton – beat Williamson’s edge a couple of times early on but England could not fashion another wicket before the interval, despite Wood bowling well above 90mph and cracking the impressive Conway on the forearm.
Crowds of up to 6,500 will be at Lord’s this week before that number rises to 18,000 at Edgbaston for the second Test from June 10 with the game in Birmingham selected as a pilot event.
Ahead of the Lord’s Test, England and New Zealand shared a ‘moment of unity’ to show their backing for equality in cricket.
England wore anti-discrimination T-shirts, which will continue to be worn in warm-ups this summer by the hosts’ men’s and women’s sides.
Watch continued live coverage of the first Test between England and New Zealand, from Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket.
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