Who’d have thought, at the start of this series, that its two most unshiftable New Zealand batters would be Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell? But for the third Test in a row, here we are, the pair adding to their restorative partnerships at Lord’s and Trent Bridge with another one at Headingley that meant a day that looked set to be firmly England’s ended up even.
Of course, if England hadn’t been so curiously timid in opting against reviewing a denied stonewall lbw shout against Mitchell when on eight, I could be filling this preamble with more paeans to the Red-Ball Reset. We may yet get to do so later of course – this Test is beautifully poised and a couple of wickets in the first hour will put the hosts back in the ascendancy on a surface that looks a pleasure to bat on.
The weather, however, could get a little more Headingley-ish in the next couple of days, which might add a note of jeopardy and put a spring in the steps of bowlers. Whatever, you’ll want to keep following. It’s Leeds, where Stuff happens, as we have already seen with Henry Nicholls’ outlandish dismissal yesterday.
Bring it all on. Play starts at 11am BST.