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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Tip: Back Australia to Win @ $1.25
Zealand Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker
bowling perspective, the Kiwis have still managed to trouble the Aussies
despite what the run totals of Warner, Labuschagne and others suggest.
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.
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
Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker
looks well and truly over the odds at his current quote given how spin-friendly
the SCG normally is.
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.
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?
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
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.
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
Tip: Back Nathan Lyon @ $13.00