Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Australia vs New Zealand: Second Test Preview

Australia vs New Zealand: Second Test Preview

David Warner of Australia

Australia brought the Black Caps down to earth with a thud in the first Test of the series.

New Zealand might hope that the return to the red ball will bring about a turnaround in their fortunes as they seek to get back into the series at the iconic MCG.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Australia vs New Zealand | 26 December - 30 December | Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

To Win Match
Australia 3/10
Draw 13/2
New Zealand 47/10

The form of the top order has been an enormous boost to an Australia team who had become reliant on their top-class bowling attack.

The rise of Marnus Labuschagne has solidified the once shakey Aussie middle order while David Warner and Steve Smith are back to their best.

Pat Cummins has bowled more overs in the last two years than any other fast bowler in the world, and it is easy to understand the temptation to overwork the world's number one Test bowler.

James Pattinson returns to the Baggy Green for the first time since copping a one-match suspension for inappropriate conduct. Pattinson replaces Josh Hazlewood who is out with a hamstring injury. Mitchell Starc and Cummins will partner Pattinson who will be playing in just his third Boxing Day Test at his State home ground. 

New Zealand
New Zealand have confirmed the axing of misfiring opener Jeet Raval who has been jettisoned in favour of attacking batsman Tom Blundell. Raval has averaged just 7.3 in his past nine Test knocks and scored a solitary run in each innings of the 296-run loss in Perth.

The Black Caps will welcome Trent Boult back for the clash at the MCG. Their pace cartel weren't as quick as the Aussies but they moved the ball and troubled the hosts with short-pitched bowling in the first Test.

The MCG has been a bit flat in recent times and it might present New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson with an opportunity to punish the Australia attack with a long innings.

New Zealand have great batting depth but struggled to adapt to the pace and bounce in Perth, the MCG might be more to their liking.

Verdict: Australia 3/10
The hosts will ride their momentum to a series win

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