Boxing Day Test, AUS vs NZ: Preview, Dream11 and more
In-form Australia will be aiming for a fourth successive Test win at home, besides pocketing the three-match Test series against New Zealand. Australia beat Pakistan 2-0 and have a 1-0 lead against New Zealand. A victory at the MCG will hand Aussies a second successive series win. There's a lot to play for. Here's the complete match preview.
AUS vs NZ: Here's the team news
Australia are set to see James Pattinson come in for the injured Josh Hazlewood. Head coach Justin Langer could also include pace all-rounder Michael Neser in the place of a batsman. David Warner is set to feature after having suffered a hand injury on Monday in the nets, For New Zealand, Tom Blundell has replaced Jeet Raval. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult returns as well.
Pitch report, conditions, timing and TV listing
The pitch will have something for the pacers with the early moisture, however, it will ease batting from there on. So one expects plenty of runs and both teams will look to cash in. Temperatures are set to be on the higher side. The match will start at 5:00 AM IST and will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network.
New Zealand have to step up and deliver
The trio of New Zealand pacers will aim to make use of the grass and moisture early on and target the Aussie top order. This is the best chance for New Zealand to gain some ascendancy and stop the Aussies. Skipper Kane Williamson will need to rally his troops and the Kiwis have to bat better. Nobody is better than Williamson to take control.
Aussies will aim to go 2-0 up and seal series
Australia are playing a strong brand of cricket at the moment and they will go into the second Test as the favorites. New Zealand were outplayed in the first Test by an all-round Aussie side. Marnus Labuschagne will look to end 2019 with a bang. He has been top notch and holds the key. For New Zealand, the return of Boult bolsters them.
Dream11: Labuschagne, Williamson get the leadership nods
Joe Burns and David Warner get the chance to open the batting in this Dream11 side. Labuschagne (captain) is the man in form and comes in next. Williamson (vice-captain) features next and is joined by Ross Taylor and BJ Watling. Colin de Grandhomme is the main all-rounder. The four-man bowling sees Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult and Nathan Lyon featuring.