2019 Boxing Day Test Preview


The Second Test of the Trans-Tasman series gets underway on Thursday as Australia and New Zealand meet on Boxing Day for the first time since 1987.

A convincing 296-run victory has left the Aussies as firm favourites in the market as they hope to retain the trophy, but with controversy swirling surrounding the quality of the MCG wicket, we could be in for a few surprises.

The summer of cricket continues, so if you’re looking to extend that Christmas cheer, be sure to read our complete Boxing Day Test Preview below as we try and find some winners.

Match Betting

New Zealand will be hoping for a much more competitive performance from their opening order after struggling to cope with the humid conditions in Perth.

The Kiwis found themselves on the back foot early as Jeet Raval and Tom Latham fell early, followed by superstar captain Kane Williamson, who managed only 34-runs.

Despite their troubles with the abt though, the Black Caps’ bowling attack wasn’t disgraced on a bouncy Perth wicket as Neil Wagner proved why he is considered one of the best. The world No. 3 took seven wickets overall, while teammate Tim Southee went one better claiming nine.

Both players will be key to New Zealand’s chances in the Second Test as they hope to come up with an answer to Australia’s dominant top order. With the focus on Steve Smith and David Warner coming into the series, the Kiwis have been hit with an entirely different problem in the form of a red-hot Marnus Labuschagne.

The 25-year-old has ascended into fifth in the official world batting rankings after scoring 143-runs in the first innings last week. Labuschagne is again one of the favourites to lead the charge for Australia alongside Smith and Warner in the Top Runscorer market.

New Zealand’s bowling will again need to be at its best if they hold any hope of not only handling Labuschagne, but also evening up the series. The good news is the horrible MCG pitch might just play into their hands with unpredictable bounce expected.

When these two sides last got together at the MCG back in 1987 the match ended in a Draw. Both sides put up over 300-runs in their first innings with the bat, which isn’t completely out of the question this week considering Australia’s batting form and the Kiwi’s hunger to bounce-back.

For history’s sake, a Draw actually looks good value here with all things considered. You simply can’t expect a classy side like New Zealand to perform as poorly as they did in the First Test, while we all remember Australia’s bowling troubles during last year’s Boxing Day Test against India.

With Josh Hazlewood lost to injury and the Kiwis looking for some revenge, this one could easily finish all square.

Tip: Draw @ $7.00

Australia Top 1st Innings Runscorer

Warner continues to be a popular betting play for a number of reasons.

With 551 runs to his name through only four innings of work this summer, it’s not hard to understand why Warner is one of the top fancies alongside Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne ahead of the Second Test.  

It just so happens Warner is no stranger to the big stage of Boxing Day cricket. Thursday will mark his eighth Boxing Day Test and his first since 2017, meaning he should have a point to prove in front of a sellout crowd.

Having scored a century on Boxing Day in 2016 and 2017, these odds look too good to pass up.

Tip: Back David Warner @ $4.00

 New Zealand Top 1st Innings Runscorer

Ross Taylor’s 80-runs in the first innings were the most for any New Zealand batsman in the First Test, leaving him as the second-elect behind Kane Williamson in the Top Runscorer market.

Nobody of note in the New Zealand order has any experience batting at the MCG though, which makes this a tough market to try and tip.

In these sorts of situations, you’re probably best off sticking with the bookies and backing the favourite. Williamson’s 48 combined runs last week were his lowest since a 20-run total against Sri Lanka back in August. The 29-year-old backed that performance up with a half century next time out, so take Williamson to rediscover some of his form here.

Tip: Back Kane Williamson @ $3.50

Australia Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

There’s a real case to be made for Mitchell Starc or James Pattinson here, but it’s hard to go past Pat Cummins at the current price.

Cummins took a lazy nine wickets on Boxing Day last year as he completely ripped through India. He also took three during the First Test in Perth, and if the wicket is as bouncy as everyone is saying it is, the world’s best bowler should have no trouble producing results.

Tip: Back Pat Cummins @ $3.25

New Zealand Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

Tim Southee looks a little over the odds at his current price following a nine-wicket haul in Perth.

The 31-year-old tore through Australia’s tail end in the second innings and, although he’s never bowled in Melbourne before, looks to be the most in-form bowler in the Kiwi order.

Southee also brought some fire to the First Test after throwing the pink ball back at Joe Burns. It’s been the topic of some controversy, but that kind of passion and energy could go a long way to inspiring another big performance.

Tip: Back Tim Southee @ $4.00

Man of the Match

Tip: Back David Warner @ $9.00

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.