Australia vs New Zealand – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Australia vs New Zealand taking place? Thursday, December 12th (5am UK time)

Where is Australia vs New Zealand taking place? Optus Stadium, Perth

What is the expected weather for Australia vs New Zealand? 38c and sunshine forecast for all five days

What channel is Australia vs New Zealand on? Australia vs New Zealand will be televised live on BT Sport 3

Where can I stream Australia vs New Zealand? Australia vs New Zealand will be streamed live on BT app

Where can I get tickets for Australia vs New Zealand? Ticket details for this match can be found here!

LAST MEETING
Australia beat New Zealand by 7 wickets

THE TEAM NEWS

AUSTRALIA

  • Australia warmed up nicely for this three Test series against local rivals New Zealand with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Pakistan in November and their dominance in that series where they won both matches by an innings will give them huge confidence coming into this opening Test in Perth.
  • The hosts have named an unchanged squad for this match with Cameron Bancroft released to play domestic cricket while James Pattinson and James Neser make up the 13-man squad but are included as replacements as they will name the same eleven players that dominated against Pakistan.
  • Mitchell Starc has a minor toe problem that will not prevent him from playing while their only concern is over the lack of time at the crease for their middle order which has largely been due to the outstanding form of Warner, Burns and Labuschagne at the top of the order.

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand come into this series off the back of a 1-0 win over England in November so their confidence is high although they know they face a step up in class here as they make the relatively short trip to Perth to face rivals Australia.
  • Both Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme missed the second and final Test against England but the duo both made the trip to Perth on Saturday and are reportedly making good progress from their respective injuries so they are tipped to come back into the side at the expense of Matt Henry and Daryl Mitchell.
  • Kane Williamson is fit despite nagging back and hip problems but otherwise they will have their first choice starting line-up available if Boult and De Grandhomme are passed fit and they will be fired up to do well against their neighbours.

THE PREDICTION

Both Australia and New Zealand come into this three-match Test series in excellent form having beaten Pakistan and England respectively in recent series. Australia really have the bit between their teeth right now in all formats of the game with both their batsmen and bowlers in outstanding form. While New Zealand will surely offer a far stiffer challenge than Pakistan did back in November, Australia will be super confident of winning this opening Test in Perth. They have the overall edge in quality in terms of batting and bowling, and they should be able to grind out the win in the hot Perth temperatures.

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