Cricket: Blackcaps' Daryl Mitchell not banking on record-breaking series against England as return fixtures loom

After a breakthrough 2022 series against England, Blackcaps batter Daryl Mitchell isn't banking on his past success, when the reverse fixtures take place.

Even as the Blackcaps fell to a 3-0 defeat to a resurgent England last year, Mitchell was a shining light for a New Zealand side that couldn't match their opponents.

In three tests, Mitchell plundered 538 runs at an average of more than 100, scoring three centuries, with a high score of 190.

Those heroics saw Mitchell become the first player in history with centuries in all three matches of an away series, scoring the most runs by a Blackcap in a single test series.

Fast forward to February 2023 and Mitchell has the chance to line up against England again, as the first of two tests begins at Mt Maunganui's Bay Oval on Thursday, but for the man himself, previous success counts for nothing the next time around. 

"I think you always take confidence from performances you've done in the past, but at the same time, it's different conditions, different surfaces and probably a different bowling attack as well," he said.

"For me, it's [about] going about my business and doing a job for the team. Hopefully, if I do my job, it means we can go one step closer to winning games of cricket."

Mitchell is also putting his hands up for a role with the ball. 

Daryl Mitchell.
Daryl Mitchell. Photo credit: Photosport

After making his test debut as an allrounder, Mitchell has seldom been used with the ball for the Blackcaps and taken just three wickets in his 14 tests at an average of 73.

But as the Blackcaps toy with the make-up of their bowling line-up, confirming a debut for Central Districts' Blair Tickner, the 31-year-old is prepared to roll the arm over if and when he's called upon by captain Tim Southee.

"For me, I love competing and getting into the game. To do a job for Timmy with the ball would be pretty cool, but I just love playing test cricket and love representing our country.

"It means so much to me. To do it with bat, ball or supporting the guys, whatever, it just means a lot to wear that silver fern."

Due to the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle, conditions at Bay Oval are far from certain over the coming days. Wet weather and high winds have largely seen the pitch remain undercover, as the weather turned, giving neither side a clear picture of what to expect.

For Mitchell, uncertainty is part of the game that he's come to expect. 

"I guess there's a couple of unknowns that both teams won't know in terms of day-night cricket.

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell.
Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell. Photo credit: Getty Images

"But also, the surface here at Bay Oval has been under covers for a few days. It's nice to see the sun out now.

"This is only the third or fourth test that's been played at the Mount, so there's always a couple of unknowns, but that's the beauty of the game that we play. You can't control everything, you have to adapt to what's given to you out there.

"Hopefully we can adapt quicker."

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