Jack Leach never lost faith in his Test ambitions – even when he had to remodel an illegal kink in his bowling action while the chance of touring India passed him by.
Ben Stokes remains on course to make his return to Test cricket against New Zealand in Auckland.
Ross Taylor has recovered from his thigh injury, and a bout of sickness, in time for New Zealand’s inaugural day-night Test against England.
Joe Root will be relieved to see Ben Stokes return to Test cricket for several compelling reasons.
Alastair Cook’s friendly reunion with New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner will have to be put on hold when the serious business of the first Test starts in Auckland.
Stuart Broad insists his time is about to come again soon – whether or not Joe Root wants him to continue opening the bowling for England.
Stuart Broad has yet to be told whether he will keep the new ball as he bids for his 400th wicket – but either way, he is convinced he is ready to “do some damage” again in Test cricket.
Moeen Ali is planning to “get back on that horse” in his 50th Test.
New Zealand has put aside plans to pursue a free trade deal with Russia and joined other nations in condemning the country following the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.
Mason Crane’s injury-enforced departure from England’s Test tour of New Zealand has handed a belated first call-up for Jack Leach.