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First look at the Test match pitch Published: 15 May 2013

Lord's TV has taken an exclusive look at the pitch for the first Investec Test between England and New Zealand which starts on Thursday 16 May.

MCC Head Groundsman Mick Hunt and his groundstaff have worked tirelessly to prepare the wicket for the opening Test of the summer.

An exclusive look at the Test match wicket


Alastair Cook - who captains England in a home Test for the first time - and his side will be desperate to start their Ashes summer with a victory.

But having struggled to a 0-0 drawn series against Brendon McCullum's team in New Zealand earlier this year, England know how difficult their opponents will be to overcome in a two-match series.

Cook's squad is boosted by the return of spinner Graeme Swann, who missed the away series in order to have an elbow operation.

Tim Bresnan is also back in the squad after a similar operation last year, but is likely to be the player in the 12-man squad who misses out on the starting XI.

Joe Root meanwhile is set to play a match at Lord's for the first time in his young career, and is in stunning form after making a double-ton against New Zealand while captaining England Lions in Leicester last week.

His brother Billy - an MCC Young Cricketer - is one of three YCs who are acting as 12th man for England during the Test and it's likely that both brothers will be fielding at the same time at Lord's.

Tickets are still on sale for all four days of the Test, and can be purchased online up to midnight the night before each day's play.


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