English media reacts to New Zealand's win in first test over England

New Zealand added another defeat to England's dire test record away from home at Eden Park on Monday night and, predictably enough, the nation's media weren't shy in shining lights on the side's fatal flaws.

Graeme Swann, BBC Sport

Former England spinner Graeme Swann said the side had learned nothing from their Ashes defeat and was highly critical of the side's "toothless" bowling attack.

"They've picked four right-arm seamers doing the same job," Swann told BBC Test Match Special.

"I'm worried James Anderson and Stuart Broad are being made to bowl the donkey overs, because they haven't got anyone else threatening to take wickets.

"At the moment they're carrying the spinner, and carrying a couple of bowlers who aren't really threatening. They need to find some pace or a left-arm seamer from somewhere.

"Joe Root talked about rational decisions, but they're not making them at the moment. He needs a change of pace or a different angle to back up Anderson and Broad.

"He needs a spinner who can plug up one end and take wickets, and I'm sorry but that's not Moeen Ali at the moment."

The BBC pundit also took aim at NZ-born all-rounder Ben Stokes for what he deemed a careless dismissal after his hard-fought fifty.

"It was a Ben Stokes we'd never seen before - his slowest Test fifty, a rearguard effort. But New Zealand managed to rile him and get him out," Swann said.

"[New Zealand bowler] Neil Wagner got their adrenaline going and when you see Ben Stokes' shot, you'll think 'why on earth has he done that?'

"Stokes has smashed the door down for New Zealand. There was no need to play the shot.

"He had batted beautifully. It was is an appalling dismissal. I can't believe he has played that shot."

Timothy Abraham, BBC Sport

"It must feel a case of deja vu for supporters waking up in the UK to see England's Test team struggling on a tour. This was their 10th defeat in their past 12 overseas matches.

"Ultimately they paid the price for a disastrous first innings where rustiness, poor footwork and shot selection - combined with the brilliance of man-of-the-match Boult - proved the difference."

Ben Stokes' defiant stand came to an end with a rash shot.
Ben Stokes' defiant stand came to an end with a rash shot. Photo credit: Getty

Vic Marks, The Guardian

"[New Zealand] were made to toil, unlike in England’s calamitous first innings, but they were more than prepared to do so in the first floodlit Test on Kiwi soil.

"There was no forlorn pursuit of reverse swing here, but with Trent Boult and Neil Wagner busting a gut they eventually found a way through England’s lineup. The pitch was true, the batsmen far more resilient than on Thursday and they only had just over an hour to spare. But – deservedly – they got there in the end.

"Boult purred to the wicket tirelessly throughout the game and was the obvious recipient of the man of the match award.

"Wagner, an irrepressible competitor much beloved in Chelmsford as well as Christchurch, has a different, almost unique method. Mostly he bowls bouncers but they are extremely well-directed ones. He charges in with hostile intent for over after over. He even races back to his mark with unrelenting purpose."

Tristan Lavelette, The Telegraph

"Almost two days of rain gave them a glimmer of keeping the Kiwis at bay for an improbable stalemate - but after their captain fell to what became the last ball of day four, hopes gradually dwindled on the way to 320 all out in the 127th over of 146 Kane Williamson's declaration challenged them to bat out.

"It was another case of England undoing some much-improved work in their second innings, and a third instance in succession too of a hammer-blow wicket falling to the final ball of a session - this time leaving Woakes with only the tail for company for a further 31.3 scheduled overs."

Paul Newman, Daily Mail

"To lose in India and Australia could be regarded as misfortune, but to now lose in New Zealand looks more than just carelessness from England. Their Test travel sickness is becoming acute.

"The last time it was this bad was between 1938 and 1948, when the country was concerned with a rather more important skirmish going on at home and overseas that stopped play for six years.

"Joe Root made all the right noises after England had failed to pull off a second great escape in Auckland in successive tours, but he must know there will be serious questions if this two-Test series is not squared.

"To dwell on England's shortcomings would be to deny New Zealand proper praise, for this was arguably their best all-round display under the leadership of Kane Williamson.

"Boult and Tim Southee were magnificent in bowling England out for 58 on the first day, while the captain was superb with the bat and in the field. The unheralded Henry Nicholls showed England how to play the swinging ball, then Wagner came to the party on the last day.

"It was all played out — Australia please note — in a fantastic spirit even when Wagner was charging in and doing his best to give Stokes the evil eye. There really is much to admire in New Zealand's cricket."

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