England captain Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to field in the rain-affected first Test against New Zealand at Lord's yesterday. No play was possible in the morning session.
England had taken the unusual step of naming their side a day before the game. They chose to stick with the same team that won the third Test against New Zealand in Napier in March by 121 runs and so completed a come-from-behind 2-1 series victory.
"It is going to be the same team that won our last Test in Napier," said Vaughan. "Hopefully it will be a similar performance and result." All-rounder Paul Collingwood kept his place, despite a recent recurrence of his right shoulder injury, which last week required a cortisone injection.
However, Vaughan was due to drop down from opener to No3 in a straight swap with Andrew Strauss having finished the series in New Zealand with a low average of just over 20.
Although English player Andrew Flintoff had recovered from the left ankle injury that had kept him out of Test cricket for over a year, a side strain meant the all-rounder was ruled out of the first two matches of this three-Test series.
New Zealand, in their first Test match without retired former captain Stephen Fleming, handed debuts to opener Aaron Redmond, the son of former New Zealand batsman Rodney, and middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori declared himself fit to play following an injury to his spinning finger, which forced him to miss his side's final two warm-up games. (Agencies)