Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen enjoying Root-De Grandhomme battle

New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen believes Colin de Grandhomme “presents a challenge” to Joe Root and is enjoying the ongoing battle between the Black Caps all-rounder and the England captain.

De Grandhomme, who has captured attention in the first Test between the teams with a new mullet hairstyle, may not be the quickest of bowlers but his nagging accuracy and discipline has given Root pause for thought at Lord’s.

In the 2019 World Cup final at the same ground, De Grandhomme claimed the crucial wicket of Root and the pair went head-to-head again at the Home of Cricket on the second evening of this series opener.

Root was given a thorough examination by De Grandhomme once more and required treatment after being struck on the right hand by a delivery that reared off the pitch from the medium pacer, but the Yorkshireman survived to stumps.

Following a washout on day three, the pair could now renew hostilities on Saturday morning, a prospect Jurgensen is looking forward to, as he said: “It’s great to watch.

“Colin certainly presents a challenge for Joe. Joe’s a fantastic player he’s a very good captain, but it’s a great battle. Me personally, I love watching it from up on the balcony.

“With Colin, he’s someone who can either swing it or seam it, you may see 115 to 125kmh but Colin when he hits the cricket ball, he’s extremely strong, so he does bowl a heavy ball.

“I think that’s why you saw (on Thursday) he had the ball jumping up and down, maybe keeping low, and also some movement. He’s very accurate and presents a good challenge for all batters.”

Asked who is on top in their duel, Jurgensen said: “It’s pretty even.

“The World Cup final, Colin got his wicket there but at the same time with Colin against all batters he certainly tests your patience. It will be a good challenge for them to go against each other (on Saturday).”

The inclement weather on Friday meant Rory Burns (59 not out) and Root (42no) were unable to resume their unbroken 93-run stand that had rescued England from 18 for two to 111 without further loss in response to New Zealand’s 378.

Steady rainfall throughout the day led to any prospect of play being abandoned at 4:30pm, and while the Test is still intriguingly poised, the absence of any action on day three dents both sides’ chance of winning.

Jurgensen added: “There’s certainly enough time in the game to push for a possible result. You’ve always got to believe you can still be in the frame to push for a result but we just have to try our best and believe we can win.

“The advantage for us is that we’ve got the runs on the board and that’s always good to have to be in front at this stage of the game in terms of the runs.

“From our perspective you might slightly adjust the way that you think a little bit but for us it’s still about playing five – well four, now – days of good cricket.”

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