Australia v New Zealand
Third Test – Adelaide Oval
Starts Friday November 27, 2:30pm
Australia and New Zealand head to Adelaide for the historic day-night test on Friday with the visitors needing a win to square the three-match series.
The home side have two enforced changes thanks to Usman Khawaja’s hamstring injury and Mitchell Johnson’s sudden retirement, while there are also murmurs that Josh Hazlewood will be rested. The much-maligned Shaun Marsh will replace Khawaja, with Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Steve O’Keefe all vying for spots in an Aussie bowling attack which struggled to make inroads in Perth.
The Black Caps’ bowlers also lacked potency at the WACA and worryingly are yet to dismiss the Australian side this series. Neil Wagner and Mitchell Santner pushed their claims for inclusion in the recent tour match against Western Australia although it seems likely that they will go in unchanged. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will be hoping to continue their prolific form with the bat after the pair spent a combined 18 hours at the crease in Perth.
This is of course the first ever day-night test with the controversial pink ball to be used so conditions will be unique and somewhat un-chartered. Day-night Sheffield Shield and tour match fixtures have seen a trend of wickets falling in clusters during the evening session with a suggestion that the pink ball swings more under lights, however these games have also seen their share of higher totals, particularly in the first innings.
What we do know about Adelaide is that it generally produces favourable batting conditions early on with the past four first innings totals reaching 500 and seven of the past ten second innings scores exceeding 400. However it is one of the few pitches in the country that deteriorates with only three draws in the past 17 tests here despite those hefty first innings totals.
Given the disruptions to their squad and their inability to trouble the batsmen in Perth, the home side’s price of 1.63 looks too short to get involved with. Similarly while the Kiwis face a must-win situation it’s hard to have enough faith in their hitherto toothless attack to be backing them at the 4.50 available. That leaves the draw at 5.30 which shapes as an attractive back-to-lay proposition.
If this match follows the trend of previous tests at Adelaide then, much like the opening two tests of this series, we will see bat dominate ball early on with the draw price shortening. Aside from those sizeable first innings scores it is important to note that the third innings of the match has not commenced prior to tea on day three in Adelaide since 1998, so it is not unreasonable to expect the draw to go odds-on.
This would provide an opportunity to lay off which should be seized given the scarcity of draws at this ground, as well as the lack of draws involving these two sides – New Zealand have drawn only three of their past 16 tests, while Australia have drawn just three out of their past 23.