England romped to a 3-0 whitewash victory in their three-Test home series against New Zealand as the Brendon McCullum era got off to the perfect start.
Several stunning individual performances helped the hosts to victories at Lord’s, Trent Bridge and Headingley as English crowds found joy in red-ball cricket again.
Here, Sportsmail‘s LAWRENCE BOOTH delivers player ratings from the series for both countries.
England romped to a 3-0 whitewash victory in their three-Test series against New Zealand
Alex Lees 6
Responded well to the new regime with a couple of punchy innings in Nottingham, but not much either side, and now averages 24 after six Tests.
Zak Crawley 3
Began with a bright 43 at Lord’s, but managed just 44 more from his next five innings, and must now be glancing nervously at the selectors.
Ollie Pope 7.5
A promising start to life as England’s No 3, despite a tricky time at Lord’s. Innings of 145 at Trent Bridge and 82 at Headingley suggested he can make the position his own.
Joe Root 9
Liberated of the captaincy, Root batted with even more freedom than ever. His reverse scoop off Wagner on Sunday epitomised the new approach. Only his slip catching let him down, but by the end no one really cared.
Liberated of the captaincy, Joe Root batted with even more freedom than ever in the series
Jonny Bairstow 9.5
Simply astonishing. No player responded better to the demands of ‘Baz ball’. Butchered 394 runs at a strike-rate of 120, which would be impressive in one-day cricket.
Ben Stokes 9
It didn’t matter that his bowling was off-key. His leadership and man-management were inspirational and his desire to set an example with the bat was unstinting. Like Bairstow, he hit 10 sixes.
Ben Foakes 7
Stamped his mark on the keeper’s job by helping Root get England over the line at Lord’s, then added a useful fifty at Trent Bridge. Glovework was tidy, before backache and Covid struck.
Ben Foakes stamped his mark on the keeper’s job by helping Root earn England a win at Lord’s
Sam Billings 6
Foakes’s Covid replacement, Billings at least added to the highlights reel by catching Wagner between his thighs.
Matthew Potts 8
Looked a Test natural. Removed Williamson three times, and went for just 2.59 an over – the cheapest of the regular bowlers on either side.
Jamie Overton 7
Two wickets at 73 apiece did not quite tell the story of his Test debut – and couldn’t overshadow his debut knock of 97. A useful addition to England’s fast-bowling ranks.
Jamie Overton came agonisingly close to a debut Test century with a Headingley knock of 97
Stuart Broad 7
Bowled better than 12 wickets at 35 suggested, and kickstarted the recovery at Lord’s by removing Mitchell and Jamieson in three balls, either side of the run-out of De Grandhomme. Belted useful runs at Headingley.
Jack Leach 7
Grew in stature after suffering concussion 15 minutes into the series. Looked vulnerable at Trent Bridge, but a different bowler in Leeds, with Stokes backing him to the hilt.
James Anderson 8
Still England’s best bowler at 39. In his two Tests, he removed New Zealand openers Young and Latham five times, four in single figures. Now has 651 Test wickets, and counting.
In his two Tests, James Anderson removed New Zealand openers Young and Latham five times
Matt Parkinson 6
Bowled 15.3 overs at Lord’s after coming in as Leach’s concussion substitute, and picked up the wicket of Southee in a respectable display.
Will Young 5
Runs at Nottingham, but very little either side.
Tom Latham 5
Saved himself a horror tour with a gritty 76 at Leeds, but New Zealand expected more.
Kane Williamson 4.5
A quiet trip for the captain. Fell three times to Potts, missed Nottingham with Covid and failed to reach 50.
Kane Williamson fell three times to Potts, missed Nottingham with Covid and failed to reach 50
Devon Conway 5.5
Couldn’t scale the heights of his tour here last summer, passing 50 only once.
Henry Nicholls 4
Always playing catch-up after Covid and a calf injury ruled him out at Lord’s – though not helped by his freak dismissal at Headingley.
Daryl Mitchell 9.5
Played at Lord’s only because Nicholls was unavailable – and had the series of his life. Became the wicket England craved most.
Daryl Mitchell had the series of his life and became the wicket which England craved the most
Tom Blundell 8
Mitchell’s wingman – and, against the odds, New Zealand’s second-best batsman.
Colin de Grandhomme 5
Hobbled out of the series at Lord’s, having been denied the crucial wicket of Stokes by a no-ball.
Kyle Jamieson 6.5
Looked characteristically menacing at Lord’s, but limped out of the series with a back injury in Nottingham.
Michael Bracewell 4
A clean striker of the ball, but utterly out of his depth as a Test-match spinner, going at a run a ball.
Michael Bracewell looked completely out of his depth as a Test-match spinner throughout
Tim Southee 3
Began with four for 55 at Lord’s, but his five wickets after that cost 95 apiece as he wilted under England’s onslaught.
Ajaz Patel 2
Limited to two overs by a curious selection policy – his only bowling in Test cricket since taking all 10 in Mumbai in December.
Matt Henry 3
Taken apart by England in his only Test, at Trent Bridge.
Trent Boult 8
Took 16 wickets – more than anyone on either side – and was often unplayable with the new ball. Like Mitchell and Blundell, deserved better.
Neil Wagner 5
Began by removing Stokes and Foakes in the same over at Headingley, but powerless after that.
Trent Boult took 16 wickets – the most in the series – and was often unplayable with the new ball