The highly anticipated three-test series between Australia and New Zealand will get underway at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Thursday afternoon and for the second time this summer, we’ll be treated to pink ball cricket.
Australia’s 2-0 series whitewash over Pakistan was highlighted by an improved effort with the bat and there is no doubt that nothing short of a similar performance will be required to weather a strong New Zealand bowling attack.
The Blackcaps enter this match off the back of an impressive series win over England, but a triumph over the old enemy away from home would be the biggest scalp that they have taken in a long time, and this does look to be their best chance of pulling it off.
In Australia, Tim Paine’s men are fitting favourites ($1.36) to begin the three-test series with a win over New Zealand, but there is terrific value for the Kiwis to pull of the upset; at publish they are available at $4.50.
For several years now, Australia’s big problem has been their inability to make runs at the top of the order. In retrospect however, fair performances from some (certainly not all) in England earlier this year have laid the foundation for a successful summer of cricket.
In particular, the emergence of Marnus Labuschagne and the return to form of David Warner have been enormous for the Aussies and their continued personal success will be key to that of their team against New Zealand.
There is almost no argument that Australia’s bowling attack is the best in the world and the pace-friendly conditions that we typically bare witness to in Perth will play into the strengths of all three seemers, while Nathan Lyon’s consistent presence is sure to cause plenty of headaches for the Kiwis.
Back Marnus Labuschagne to top score for Australia in the 1st Innings @ $4.50
Back Mitchell Starc to be Australia’s top wicket taker in the 1st Innings @ $3.25
The Blackcaps have found a rare vein of form throughout the last twelve months and they will be quietly confident of pulling off the upset over ‘big brother’ in Perth, and indeed this three-test series.
Captain Kane Williamson has remained in the world’s top five test batsmen for several years (currently third), while the emergence of players like Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham have further strengthened a talented batting line-up.
New Zealand’s always exciting bowling attack will feature plenty of the usual suspects including player of the series (against England) Neil Wagner, while the potential of devastating left-arm swing specialist Trent Boult being named for a return from injury could very well prove the difference in winning or losing.
Back Kane Williamson to top score for New Zealand in the 1st Innings @ $3.25
Back Trent Boult to be New Zealand’s top wicket taker in the 1st Innings @ $3.25 (should he be declared fit).
Australia vs New Zealand Betting
Similarly to the Australia vs Pakistan series, there is plenty of additional betting options to be found ahead of the first test between Australia and New Zealand, including Man of the Mach, mode of dismissal and everything in between.
This summer, Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner have taken Man of the Match honours and those players are paying $10 and $9 respectively to win the title again in Perth. Given that we are likely to be faced with a bowler-friendly wicket, I’m expecting big performances from several players including Mitchell Starc, who looks a lovely bet in this market at around the $10 mark.