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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Hazlewood lost to injury and the Kiwis looking for some revenge, this one could
easily finish all square.
Tip: Draw @ $7.00
Top 1st Innings Runscorer
continues to be a popular betting play for a number of reasons.
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.
scored a century on Boxing Day in 2016 and 2017, these odds look too good to
Tip: Back David Warner @ $4.00
New Zealand Top 1st Innings Runscorer
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
note in the New Zealand order has any experience batting at the MCG though,
which makes this a tough market to try and tip.
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
Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker
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.
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
Zealand Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker
looks a little over the odds at his current price following a nine-wicket haul
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.
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
Tip: Back David Warner @ $9.00