High-on-confidence New Zealand looking to create history against in-form Australia

Both teams are coming in the contest after winning in their previous five-day assignments, therefore a feisty battle is expected.

The home side registered a thumping 2-0 series win against Pakistan in their last outing in the longest format of the game.

The most impressive aspect of those victories was the manner in which the home side dominated the proceedings and ended up registering an innings victory in both Brisbane and Adelaide.

Surprisingly, it was a series where star batsman Steve Smith could not turn up and was second-best whereas the likes of David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne shared the bulk of the batting responsibility for the home side.

Therefore, the team management will be hoping to see the best of Smith against the Black Caps as he has the ability to become the difference between both teams.

In terms of bowling, it was the usual suspect of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood who produced bulk of the damage against the Men-in Green and the same will be expected of them in the series starting from Thursday.

Australia and New Zealand will face off in the first Test of three-match series, starting from Thursday in Perth.

On the other hand, Black Caps have also produced a dominant performance while playing at home against England where they registered a 1-0 win in the two-Test series.

Kiwis produced an all-round performance against a lackluster English side which was led by wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling who scored a breathtaking double century in the first Test and helped the home side in registering an impressive innings triumph over the opposition.

He was not the only superstar for the Black Caps in the contest as the likes of captain Kane Williamson and veteran right-hander Ross Taylor also played important innings in the second Test.

This time around, the team management will be hoping to see the similar kind of heroics from all three of them who will be responsible to put the majority of runs on the board.

On the bowling front, the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner combined with left-arm spin of Mitchell Santner compile a more than potent bowling attack which is capable of disturbing the home team’s batting lineup.

Optus Stadium in Perth will be used as the venue for the contest which will be hosting its only second Test match.

In the previous match at the venue which took place back in December 2018, it was the home side who came out on top with a 146-run margin while playing against India, courtesy nine wickets from off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

This will be the first meeting between both teams in nearly three years and 58th in the history of five-day format.

In those matches, Australia have a far superior record with 31 wins compared to New Zealand’s eight victories.

Both teams have competed in 17 Trans-Tasman Trophy series before where Australia won on 10 occasions, New Zealand won thrice whereas four series ended as a draw.

The Black Caps have just won a single Test series in Australia with a 2-1 margin which was back in 1985-86.


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