High-flying Australia will face spirited New Zealand in the three-match Test series, starting from December 12 in Perth.
The home side are coming in the series with full of confidence after securing a thumping 2-0 win against lackluster Pakistan in the recently concluded two-match Test series.
In both matches, hosts register an innings and a five-run and an innings and 48 runs win. Therefore, the Kangaroos will be eager to continue their good run of form and put another impressive performance, but this time against a tougher opposition.
In the batting department, the home side will be relying on the likes of in-form opener David Warner who is coming fresh after scoring an unbeaten 335 in Adelaide, veteran right-hander Steve Smith who had below-par series against the Green Caps, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns to score bulk of the runs. Surprisingly, Marnus Labuschagne, who came in as first concussion substitute in Test cricket and replaced Steven Smith in Lords Test, has delivered excellent performances for the side so far this season. Marnus Labuschagne is currently Australia’s leading run-scorer this season with 829 runs at an average of 63. 76. He has smashed two centuries and five half-centuries for Australia in red-ball cricket this year.
On the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pacers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to produce timely breakthroughs.
On the other hand, the Black Caps are also coming with full confidence after securing a 1-0 series win against England in the recently concluded two-Test series while playing at home which strengthen their position on the second position of International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings.
In the first game, the Black Caps register an innings and 65-run triumph courtesy incredible innings from wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling whereas the second match ended as a draw despite a historic double-century from the visitors’ captain Joe Root.
In the batting department, Kiwis will be relying on the likes of captain Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and wicketkeeper-batsman Watling to score bulk of the runs whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the pace trio of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Tim Southee to produce timely breakthroughs.
Surprisingly, both teams who are neighbors have not faced each other in a five-day contest since February 2016.
Both teams have faced each other in 57 matches in the red-ball format where the Baggy Greens have emerged victorious on 31 occasions whereas the Kiwis managed to secure eight victories whereas 18 games ended as a draw.
In the previous five fixtures between both team, Australia emerged victorious on four occasions whereas one match ended as a draw.
Both teams have faced each other in 31 Tests on Australian soil where the hosts ended up winning on 17 occasions whereas visitors managed just three victories whereas 11 matches ended as a draw.
The trans-tasman rivals will battle it out in the opening game of the three-match series at Perth Stadium from 12th December. The second game of the series will be played at Melbourne Cricket Ground from 26th December. The final game of the three-match series is scheduled to played at Sydney Cricket Ground from 3rd January.