After crushing Pakistan, the Australian team is ready to take the Kiwi challenge. The opening Test will be a Day-Night match scheduled to take place in Perth this Thursday (December 12).
New Zealand, who have won the two-match Test series at home against England must be bracing themselves to face the heat of Australian summers ahead of the first Test.
From Blackcaps’ perspective, all eyes would be on Trent Boult as he aims to prove his fitness. The left-arm pacer didn’t play the second Test against England. Kane Williamson–led New Zealand will be desperate to see Boult getting fit to play in the Day-Night Test at Perth.
Boult was a part of second group of players to arrive into Perth on Sunday. His partner-in-crime Tim Southee looked confident and said that he would play in the upcoming game.
“If he gets through the next few days I don’t see why he wouldn’t play. He’s an experienced guy and knows his body very well,” said Southee.
Apart from Boult, Williamson will hope to see Niel Wagner and Tim Southee hunting down the Aussies, while if Matt Henry or Lockie Ferguson gets to play then they might also look to cash-in the opportunity.
Recently, Australia announced the squad, and selectors went with 13 out of 14 members who were part of the Pakistan series.
Australia’s coach Justin Langer has hinted towards the fact that the Aussies will go with the same playing XI of the second Test against Pakistan.
“I’d be a brave man to change the XI,” said Langer in Perth on Tuesday (December 10).
New Zealand, on the other hand, would be looking forward to change the history as Kiwis have won only one test series in Australia back in 1985 when Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe helped secure that historic achievement. Australia had been dominant as they won the last test series between the teams in Australia with 2-0 in 2015 and the last series in New Zealand with 2-0 in 2016.
Australia: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, MarnusLabuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
New Zealand: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, JeetRaval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson (c).