Venue: Perth Stadium, Perth
Date: Thursday, December 12 – Monday, December 16, 2019
Looking at the recent history between Australia and New Zealand paints a bleak picture for the Black Caps as they head across the Tasman for a three-match end of 2019/start of 2020 Test series against their Anzac rival. New Zealand hasn’t won a series in Australia since 1985 – a time before many in the Black Caps’ lineup were ven born – but there are many that think that this could be the squad to make history and becoming instant sporting heroes in the land of the long white cloud.
Australia had a dominant November where they destroyed Pakistan in all forms of the game. New Zealand also had a successful November – albeit a more competitive one – as they faced off against England. England won the T20I series between the two sides – in yet another Super Over – before the Black Caps gained a measure of revenge in the short, two-match Test series. New Zealand dominated the first Test as they won by an innings and 65 runs, before the second match was drawn. New Zealand needs to carry the momentum from this series win into Australia to have a chance in a country where they have won just one Test match – Hobart in 2011 – since their 1985 series win.
The pink-ball Test is going to be one where the Aussies have a big advantage as New Zealand will not have a day/night warmup match before the Perth encounter. One player that this will favour is paceman Mitchell Starc. Starc is known for his ability to generate pace in any conditions, let alone the warm evening in Perth where his natural speed under the lights will be harder for the Black Caps’ batsmen to get to grips with.
New Zealand are coming into this off of two matches on slow. low bouncing pitches. Perth will be the opposite of this, so expect to see Australia attacking their visitors with pace and length in the bowling attack. Steve Smith is averaging 90 in Tests this year and is ranked as the No. 2 batsman in the world heading into this.
New Zealand will be led by the star power of Kane Williamson as he plots a sporting coup in Australia that would ring around the cricketing world. A lot depends on the health of batsman Colin de Grandhomme and bowler Trent Boult, with both players having to miss the Second Test against England through injury. It is a deep and talented squad, but it is one that needs frontline players such as the pacy Boult to be available and sharp to beat Australia.
The Black Caps will need a big series – and a big opening Test performance – from opener Tom Latham. Latham has developed into a top-shelf batsman over the bast four years, a player capable of eating up the innings or going on the attack depending on what is required. His patience will be a key factor in this day/night Test.
We like Australia to win this one at BetXchange, but New Zealand are certainly more than good enough to give them a run for their money. We also like the two noted pink ball exponents in Starc (2.00) and Boult (2.50) to do their thing and be the top bowlers in Perth. Starc at 8.00 is also an interesting bet for the Man of the Match if he gets hot early and dominates the wicket haul.