Preview: England firm favourites for New Zealand Test series

The home side come into the series after a drubbing in South Africa, where they lost both Tests by an innings, and they are still adjusting to the axing of Ross Taylor as captain in favour of Brendon McCullum late last year. England are set to welcome James Anderson and Steven Finn back into the bowling attack after they were rested for the tour match in Queenstown.

updated: March 04, 2013 13:35 IST
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Wellington, New Zealand: England go into their three-Test series against a new-look New Zealand line-up this week as firm favourites, despite slipping to a shock defeat in their final warm-up match.

The tourists, second in the Test rankings, are expected to prove too strong for the lowly Black Caps as they gear up for back-to-back Ashes series against Australia, buoyed by a recent series win away to India.

The likes of star batsman Kevin Pietersen failed to fire in the three-wicket defeat on Saturday at the hands of a New Zealand XI, England's first loss in a first-class tour game in nearly seven years.

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