Cricket-England win toss, choose to bat against NZ in first test


England captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat in the first test against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui on Thursday.

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WELLINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - England captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat in the first test against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui on Thursday.

Both teams named their starting lineups on Wednesday, with England's opening batsman Dom Sibley earning his first test cap as the tourists named the same team that played New Zealand 'A' in a three-day warm-up match in Whangarei.

Top-order batsman Joe Denly was also included after he came through the New Zealand 'A' match unscathed, having missed the Twenty20 series with an ankle injury.

Root said there were no late injuries and his side would look to make the most of the pitch that had dried out considerably over the last two days.

"It has changed quite a lot since we got here," Root said in a pitchside interview." It has browned off quite nicely over the last couple of days.

"It looks like a nice wicket, firm under foot so we have to make sure that we negotiate the first session really well, get ourselves into the game and bat long."

New Zealand also did not have any changes to their side, their captain Kane Williamson said, with Tim Southee and Trent Boult due to take the new ball after uncapped fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was left out of the side.

The right armer has been released to play for Auckland in domestic one-day cricket before he re-joins the team ahead of the second game in Hamilton.

Williamson added he would have probably batted as well, given the ground was hosting its first test.

"It looks like a good surface," Williamson said. "There a few unknowns with it being the first game (test) here in terms of how it might age but it looks a good wicket.

"It's important that we try to get a bit of swing and hopefully a bit of movement."

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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