England rout WTC winners New Zealand 3-0: Key takeaways
England defeated New Zealand by eight wickets in the third and final Test at Headingley. Ollie Pope and Joe Root helped England chase down 296 on the final day. With this, the hosts completed a 3-0 series sweep over the Kiwis under the leadership of Ben Stokes. Jonny Bairstow laid the foundation of England's win with a 162-run win. Here are the key stats.
New Zealand racked up 329 after electing to bat, riding on Daryl Mitchell's century. In reply, England were reduced to 55/6 Bairstow and Jamie Overton rescued the hosts. England took 31-run lead after compiling 360. NZ managed to score 326, with Tom Blundell returning unbeaten (88). Ollie Pope (82), Joe Root (86*), and Jonny Bairstow (71*) starred for England in the run-chase (296/3).
England have beaten New Zealand in a Test series for the first time since May 2013. The Kiwis won three back-to-back series against England between 2018 and 2021, while one ended in a draw. Notably, England last routed NZ (Tests) in May 2013 (2-0).
The Test series saw the supremacy of Joe Root. The right-handed batter upped his game after getting the burden of captaincy relieved. To start with, he finished as England's highest run-scorer in the series. Root slammed his 27th Test ton at Trent Bridge, now the joint-most among active cricketers with Virat Kohli and Steven Smith. During the series, Root also completed 10,000 Test runs.
The appointment of Brendon McCullum as England's head coach in Test cricket straightaway showed positive results. His counter-attacking mindset was reflected during Jonny Bairstow's match-winning 136 (92) at Trent Bridge. Bairstow batted in a similar fashion at Headingley, smashing 162 (157) in the first innings and 71* (44) in the run-chase. He pounded the Kiwi bowlers throughout the series.
Regardless of the result, Daryl Mitchell was the show-stopper for New Zealand in the series. He finished as the only batter with over 500 runs after three Tests. In the third Test, he became the first New Zealand batter to smash three consecutive Test tons against England. His scores in the series read 13, 108, 190, 62*, 109, and 56.
Right-arm seamer Matthew Potts was a revelation for England in the series. He finished as their highest wicket-taker in the series, having scalped 14 at an incredible average of 23.28. Potts, who made his Test debut in the series opener, took four wickets at Headingley. He was Stuart Broad's deputy in the absence of injured James Anderson.
England seamers usually dominate the wickets column at home. However, the three-match series saw New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult troubling the English batters. The left-arm fast bowler finished as the leading wicket-taker of the series. He scalped 16 wickets at an average of 28.93. Interestingly, no other Kiwi bowler took even 10 wickets in the series.