Australia vs New Zealand – 2nd Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Australia vs New Zealand taking place? Thursday, December 26th (0:00am UK time)

Where is Australia vs New Zealand taking place? Melbourne Cricket Ground

What is the expected weather for Australia vs New Zealand? 32c with sunshine forecast for most of the five days

What channel is Australia vs New Zealand on? Australia vs New Zealand will be televised live on BT Sport 2

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 296 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

AUSTRALIA

  • Australia hammered New Zealand in the first Test by 277 runs in Perth as they made the tourists field for 146 overs in temperatures of more than 40c heat and then their bowling attack had far too much quality for the Blackcaps' batting line-up even though they lost Josh Hazelwood to injury after just eight balls.
  • Hazelwood has been ruled out for this Test in Melbourne so the selectors have called up Peter Siddle to the squad although the veteran seam bowler is unlikely to play with James Pattinson or Michael Neser more likely to come into the side for Hazelwood.
  • It is highly unlikely they will make any changes to the top order of the batting given how well they are playing although it has been suggested that Travis Head or Matthew Wade could make way for a frontline bowler to lessen the workload on the bowling unit, so it could be that Pattinson and Neser both start.

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand have plenty of improvements to make if they are to compete better against their arch rivals Australia after they were comprehensively beaten in Perth, and they need to dust themselves off and put that out of their minds for this Test at the MCG.
  • The most obvious room for improvement will have to come in the batting line-up with Jeet Raval under pressure after two failures in Perth so Tom Blundell is on standby to come into the side, while Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out for up to six weeks which is a blow but they have called up uncapped six-foot-seven pace bowler Kyle Jamieson for a possible debut.
  • The tourists should be able to count on Trent Boult after the first Test just came too soon in his recovery from a side strain, with the left-arm paceman a major boost to the team.

THE PREDICTION

All the pressure is on New Zealand coming into this game as they were hammered in Perth last time out and their batsmen especially have to improve significantly. Ravel is struggling at the top of the order so the Aussie bowling attack have been able to get at Williamson and Taylor early in the innings which is putting the tourists on the back foot right from the start. Even without Hazelwood, the Aussies have plenty of quality and just look to have the edge over the Blackcaps’ batsmen. The return of Trent Boult is a massive boost for them but his inclusion will not save them from another defeat with Starc and Cummins leading the way once again.

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