Niall Anderson evaluates how each Black Cap performed in their 1-0 test series win over England.
Tom Latham - 7
Stats: 131 runs at an average of 43.7
Dismissed for eight in the first test after not reviewing what looked to be an inside edge on an lbw dismissal, Latham then made history in Hamilton with his fifth century in the span of 10 test innings – the first New Zealander to achieve that feat. Chris Woakes ensured he wouldn't add another in the second innings, removing him for 18, but with his first test ton against England, Latham has further ensconced his place amongst New Zealand's all-time great opening batsmen. Now – to notch a first century against Australia and India.
Jeet Raval - 2
Stats: 24 runs at an average of eight
Raval's shocking run continues, averaging 9.1 in his last seven test innings. His 19 in Mount Maunganui was flattering, offering several chances and looking completely at sea, and his returns of five and a second-ball duck in Hamilton have left him looking like a walking wicket in Australia. He also dropped two catches, but made amends slightly with a sharp throw to help run out centurion Rory Burns in the second test.
Kane Williamson - 7
Stats: 159 runs at an average of 79.5
A harsh rating perhaps, but Williamson got one of the biggest let-offs in cricket history when Joe Denly dropped an impossibly each catch with Williamson on 62 in Hamilton. He went on to bring up his 21st test century, but considering he also had a regulation catch put down by Ollie Pope on 39, this was not a vintage Williamson series.
Ross Taylor - 8
Stats: 183 runs at an average of 91.5
Ross Taylor loves playing at home. After making 25 in Mount Maunganui, the Hamiltonian produced scores of 53 and 105 not out in Hamilton, making him the first player to pass 1000 test runs at Seddon Park. Although aided by a lifeless wicket and a England bowling attack that was eventually going through the motions, his final-day century was chanceless. He'll be wanting a better performance in the slips though, with a screamer to remove Ben Stokes negated by two drops.
Henry Nicholls - 4
Stats: 57 runs at an average of 28.5
Produced a handy 41 in the Mount to help the Black Caps rebuild from 106-3 and 127-4 respectively, but made only 16 in Hamilton before falling into England's trap and hooking a short ball down the throat of fine leg.
BJ Watling - 9
Stats: 205 runs at an average of 130
Another fantastic series from the wicketkeeper-batsman, who has faced at least 173 balls in his last four test innings. He ground the English bowling attack into dust in the first test with his test-best 205, setting up an impressive victory, while his 55 in Hamilton took the Black Caps from a precarious 191-5 to a position of security. Had he not been shelled by Ben Stokes on 31 in the first test, this would have been a perfect 10.
Colin de Grandhomme - 8
Stats: 65 runs at an average of 65, three wickets at an average of 18.6
Helped Watling set up victory with the bat in the first test, and continued to take key wickets, removing both England openers in the first innings, and captain Joe Root in the second. A tear to his left lower abdominal muscle put the all-rounder out of the second test and in doubt for the day-night test in Perth next week, and the importance of his absence is shown in his incredible test averages – now averaging 40.3 with the bat and 29.6 with the ball.
Daryl Mitchell - 6
Stats: 73 runs at an average of 73, no wickets for 69 runs
Mitchell proved to be a capable fill-in for de Grandhomme with the bat, looking assured in his debut innings of 73 at his home ground in Hamilton. However, while bowling on an unhelpful wicket, his returns with the ball – 22-5-69-0 – likely confirmed the belief that he is a part-time option with the ball in test cricket, as opposed to a first-change bowler.
Mitchell Santner - 7
Stats: 149 runs at an average of 74.5, four wickets at an average of 41.2
A breakout series for Santner, who achieved career-best figures with bat (126) and ball (3-53) in the win in Mount Maunganui. His bowling on a turning Bay Oval wicket – he was unlucky not to end with more than three wickets – was a good advertisement of his all-round skills, and the wickets taken late on day four changed the test match. He found things harder in Hamilton, looking largely unthreatening in taking 1-88, but it's unlikely any New Zealand spinner would have performed significantly better on that wicket.
Tim Southee - 8
Stats: Seven wickets at an average of 34, 27 runs at an average of 13.5
Bowled much better than his figures suggest. His four wickets were crucial in holding England to a below-par first innings score at the Mount, and Southee then teamed up with Santner and Neil Wagner in a marathon second innings spell to seal the win. Figures of 2-90 in 37 overs in Hamilton undersell just how consistent he was in hitting a line and length and making England's batsmen work hard for their runs. Hit his contractually obligated six as well.
Matt Henry - 3
Stats: One wicket at an average of 87
Another opportunity missed for Henry, whose test bowling average now reads an ugly 48.5 in 11 tests. It's slightly harsh, as the Canterbury seamer has never been allowed an extended run in the team, but nor has he put his hand up when given a chance. Both sides of that coin were on show in Hamilton – with Henry unlucky to be bowling on such a batter-friendly wicket, but not doing much to show the selectors why they should pick him over Lockie Ferguson in Australia.
Neil Wagner - 9
Stats: 13 wickets at an average of 19.8
As brilliant and brutal as ever, Wagner now has five-wicket bags in his last four test matches – the last two coming on wickets that seemingly every bowler bar him struggled on. Offering superb variations, Wagner always looked the most likely and lively of the New Zealand bowlers, and he bowled the Black Caps to victory in the first test. His 5-124 in Hamilton was less valuable – cleaning up a slogging tail – but Wagner can be counted on to deliver in Australia.
Trent Boult - 3
Stats: One wicket at an average of 103
A forgettable series for New Zealand's premier swing bowler, who could only claim the wicket of Jofra Archer before succumbing to a muscle strain in his rib area on the final day of the first test. He missed the second, but is on track to play in Perth, and would be an automatic selection.