Australia v New Zealand First Test Preview


Australia will be hoping to build on their triumph over Pakistan as they now set their sights on the Trans-Tasman Trophy this week.

The second day-nighter of the summer gets underway from Perth on Thursday and, although the top of the Aussie batting order looks exceptional, Justin Langer’s side will still have their work cut out against the world’s second-best Test side.

Much like the Pakistan series, there is very little value on offer head-to-head so you will have to search elsewhere for a profit. Fortunately, we’ve done all the hard work for you and our complete Australia v New Zealand First Test Preview can be found below.

Match Betting

As if day-night cricket in Perth wasn’t exciting enough, we’ll also be treated to one of the world’s most mouth-watering match-ups at the crease between Steve Smith and Kane Williamson.

Smith failed to fire against Pakistan batting twice for a combined 40 runs. Williamson, meanwhile, played an integral part in the Kiwis’ draw against England scoring a ton in the second innings.

Pakistan proved no match for Australia last month as the bowling attack struggled to challenge the top order. New Zealand will pose a whole new set of challenges however, as medium pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee both performed exceptionally well in England.  

Australia has dominated the Trans-Tasman series over the last two decades, retaining the trophy since 1993. That said, the last time these two sides met in a Test match was 2016, so it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then.

New Zealand is more than capable of matching Australia’s run totals, and despite what you may think, it won’t be just a one-man job.

Williamson is the world’s third-best Test batsman, but the Black Caps can also find confidence in Tom Latham, who has been the most successful Test opener over the last two years.

Of course, all of this may be a moot point if the Kiwis struggle to deal with the heat in Perth. Temperatures are set to reach 40 degrees this week, which could pose a few challenges to a New Zealand side straight off the plane from England.

The heat should also impact the wicket in Perth and force several cracks to appear by the second or third day. From a batting perspective, these two teams are fairly even on talent, but Australia can feel confident in their bowling after Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc tore through Pakistan.

We should see Steve Smith return to his very best this week after spending ample time in the rooms against Pakistan. New Zealand is a classy side that will challenge Australia in all areas, but on a tricky wicket, you have to stick with the favourites in this one.

Tip: Back Australia to Win @ $1.36

Australia Top 1st Innings Run Scorer

Love him or hate him, Warner has been on a tear since returning to Australia putting up a century in the First Test against Pakistan and a triple ton in the Second Test in Adelaide.

Flat track bully or not, Warner is seeing the ball beautifully at the moment and he simply looks well over the odds at his current price to lead the way for Australia once again.

Warner put up a double century against New Zealand in Perth back in 2015, contributing to his sparkling 137.5 run average at the ground. The Kiwis won’t leave Warner’s mistakes unpunished like Pakistan did, but this is still a ground the 33-year-old knows and loves.

Tip: Back David Warner @ $3.75

New Zealand Top 1st Innings Run Scorer

We touched briefly on the work of Tom Latham as the secret key to New Zealand’s chances, and we think you’ll find he’s also a great bet to lead the batting for the Black Caps.

The last two years of Test cricket for Latham have been nothing short of spectacular as the 27-year-old has racked up five centuries. Latham has little experience batting in Perth, let alone Australia, but as the highest run-scoring opener in the world over the last two years, he’s worth backing.

Tip: Back Tom Latham @ $4.50

Australia Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

If the pitch deteriorates quickly it should really play into the hands of the Australian quicks as Pat Cummins hopes to wreak havoc on New Zealand after taking a combined eight wickets against Pakistan last month.

Cummins took three wickets this time last year in the West against India, while he also fared well against England two years ago taking four.

Tip: Back Pat Cummins @ $3.50

New Zealand Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

Take your pick, the options are endless.

It’s a bit of a coin flip here between Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee, but don’t sleep on in-form lefty Neil Wagner.

The world No. 4 is in the form of his life after taking a combined 13 wickets against England with only 258 runs conceded. Wagner has never bowled in Australia before, so he might take some time to adjust. But keep in mind, Australia did concede three wickets to Shaheen Shah Afridi during the Second Test against Pakistan, who also happens to be a lefty.  

Tip: Back Neil Wagner @ $4.00

Man of the Match

It would be shocking to see a world class player like Steve Smith not answer the bell after a very quiet series against Pakistan.

With all eyes on the battle between himself and Kane Williamson, you can expect Smith to feed off the pressure at the crease as he returns to a ground that has treated him well.

The last time we saw Smith bat in Perth he put up a double century against England, so it’s worth sticking him as the favourite in the Man of the Match market.

Tip: Back Steve Smith @ $6.50

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.