Second Test – Perth
Starts Friday November 13, 1:30pm
Australia arrive in Perth full of confidence after their comprehensive win in the first test at the Gabba. The top order excelled against the Kiwis much vaunted bowling attack with the top three all reaching triple-figures, while all the bowlers chipped in on an unhelpful surface to leave the home side one win away from wrapping up the series.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will need to turn things around quickly after a disappointing effort in the series opener which was compounded by injuries to Tim Southee and James Neesham. Neesham is out of the series and could be replaced by former Western Australian keeper-batsman Luke Ronchi, while Matt Henry and Neil Wagner are in the frame to replace Southee if he fails to prove his fitness.
Doug Bracewell and Mark Craig are also under pressure to keep their spots after an underwhelming performance by the entire Kiwi bowling attack. The batsmen showed more promise but still failed to pass 320 in ideal batting conditions.
This is the opening first-class fixture of the season at the WACA, however historically draws are very rare here with 11 of the past 12 tests producing a result (including the last eight) so the draw is rightfully the least favoured result at 7.60.
Australia go in as strong $1.41 favourites which seems too short to back given their inability to put together successive performances in the recent Ashes series coupled with a still relatively inexperienced batting line-up.
The Black Caps also have a good recent history in coming from behind, bouncing back after opening losses in recent series’ against England and Pakistan, and not having lost consecutive tests since May 2013. So while it’s hard to have much faith in the visiting side after what they served up in Brisbane, the $6.00 about the Kiwis looks a big price and one that could certainly go a bit lower throughout the match.
If New Zealand are to level the scores in Perth it’s hard not to see Kane Williamson making a significant contribution. The first drop looked a class above at the Gabba with a masterful 140 in the first innings and 59 in the second which was only curtailed by a marginal umpiring decision. Williamson has now top-scored in five of New Zealand’s past 12 first innings (including three of the past four) and should be backed to top-score in the first innings here at $3.60 or higher.
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