Australia v New Zealand Third Test Preview

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Only five days removed from retaining the Trans-Tasman Trophy in a clinical 247-run victory, Australia and New Zealand prepare for battle once again in the Third Test starting Friday at the SCG.

The Aussies have been installed at very short odds in Match Betting as they hope to earn a convincing clean sweep over their rivals. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be hoping to win its first-ever Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

As always, we’ve taken a careful look at both sides and our complete Australia v New Zealand Third Test Preview can be found below.

Match Betting

So much was made of the MCG pitch heading into the Boxing Day Test, and initially, it looked as though Australia might be in some real strife.

Joe Burns’ golden duck dismissal had the top of the order on the ropes, but like we saw all throughout 2019, Australia’s class quickly shone through as David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne took control of the wheel.

On a bouncy surface that called for plenty of caution, Travis Head wasted no time putting up his second Test century with a stunning 114-run display. Steve Smith also came close before a sloppy dismissal on 85, while Travis Paine’s 75-run effort just about put the match to bed.

So far, we haven’t seen anything convincing from New Zealand’s batting order that makes them worthy of backing. Kane Williamson, who has tallied only 57-runs across both Test matches, has struggled against Australia’s quicks, leaving the bulk of the work in Tom Latham and Tom Blundell’s hands.

The Kiwis can probably rest a little easier knowing the pace won’t be quite as frantic as the crease in Sydney. The SCG is a notoriously a spinners playground, particularly on days four and five.

New Zealand has wasted no time calling up right-arm spinner Will Somerville, but considering Nathan Lyon’s excellent numbers in Sydney (eight Tests, 23 wickets) – as well as James Pattinson’s return to form – it’s very difficult to see the Black Caps mounting a total high enough to trouble the Aussies.

Throw in the fact this will also be New Zealand’s first Test match at the SCG since 1985, and it becomes almost impossible to see the Black Caps coming close to an upset.

Tip: Back Australia to Win @ $1.25

New Zealand Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

From a bowling perspective, the Kiwis have still managed to trouble the Aussies despite what the run totals of Warner, Labuschagne and others suggest.

Trent Boult’s broken hand is an enormous blow to New Zealand – especially after blowing through Joe Burns for a golden duck on day one. Somerville will take Boult’s spot in the side, but if you’re looking for a safe Top Wicket Taker bet, look no further than Neil Wagner.

Ranked third in the world, Wagner was again the pick of the New Zealand bowlers in Melbourne taking seven wickets. The pace from the 33-year-old caused real problems for all of Australia’s top batsman, so if the Aussies opt to bat first in Sydney, don’t be surprised if Wagner takes a big scalp while the wicket is fresh.

Tip: Back Neil Wagner @ $3.25

Australia Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker

Nathan Lyon looks well and truly over the odds at his current quote given how spin-friendly the SCG normally is.

Lyon finished strongly last week in Melbourne to claim four wickets on the final day. Like we mentioned earlier, he’s also taken 23 wickets in eight Test matches at the SCG, making the GOAT the key to Australia’s chances against a Kiwi side that is completely unfamiliar with the surface.

Tip: Back Nathan Lyon @ $4.50

New Zealand Top 1st Innings Runscorer

On one hand you’d be mad to back against Kane Williamson, while on the other, the Kiwi captains’ recent numbers make him tough to trust.

Tom Blundell was the standout batsman for the Black Caps in Melbourne finishing with 121 runs off 210 balls. Blundell and Tom Latham are two batsmen capable of digging in at the crease when things don’t go according to plan, but the question is, who should you back?

Latham has a little more experience on his side having played a very minor part in a One Day match in Sydney back in 2016. Considering both are tough to separate though, it might be worth having a small wager on each.

Tip: Back Tom Latham @ $4.50 & Tom Blundell @ $5.50

Australia Top 1st Innings Runscorer

It’s difficult to argue with Steve Smith’s resume in Sydney.

In six Test matches at the SCG Smith has tallied 548 runs, making him one of the most experienced and most successful batsmen at the ground.

Smith will also be eager to make up for his sloppy dismissal on 85 during the first innings last week in Melbourne. It’s never exciting backing the favourite, but it’s worth allowing the numbers to do the talking here.

Tip: Back Steve Smith @ $3.25

Man of the Match

Tip: Back Nathan Lyon @ $13.00

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.