Second Test – starts 10:30am local time on Friday, November 13, 2015 at the WACA Ground, Perth
$1.38 at William Hill
ICC Test ranking: 2nd
Last five Tests: W L L W W
$5.50 at Luxbet.com
ICC Test ranking: 6th
Last five Tests: W W L W L
Australia leads the 2015 Trans-Tasman Trophy 1-0 after a dominant display in the first Test at Brisbane.
That 208-run victory has seen Steven Smith’s men plunge to just $1.10 in the series betting at online bookmaker Luxbet.com, while CrownBet has pushed New Zealand out as far as $21.
But the immediate focus is the second Test in Perth, where the Aussies are paying $1.38 (William Hill) while the Kiwis are slated at $5.50 (Luxbet).
Sportsbet.com has the draw pegged at $8.
There was plenty to like about Australia’s display at the Gabba, with David Warner scoring back-to-back centuries while both Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns marked their return to the Test team with maiden tons.
But Darren Lehmann was less than delighted about his charges’ efforts with the ball in hand.
The Australia coach described the fielding performance in the first Test as “average at best”, singling out Burns and Khawaja for special criticism before ripping into his bowlers.
“I don’t think we bowled as well as we’d have liked,” Lehmann said on Tuesday.
“I don’t think we bowled with the new ball as well as we could have, and give New Zealand credit – they left [the ball] well and made us work for it.
“But we’ve certainly got to get better in that area. I think they had to play at less than half the balls with the new ball in the first 20 overs, so that’s something we’ll look at there.”
Mitchell Starc was probably the best of the Australian bowlers, taking six wickets for the match, but his efforts were soured when he earned the match referee’s wrath for a petulant throw at NZ batsman Mark Craig in junk time on day five.
The New South Welshman was fined $7,725 by the ICC and earned a public reprimand from his captain, who said Starc needed to eradicate such behaviour from his game.
“I don’t think he needs to apologise. I just don’t think he needs to do it in the future,” Smith told the press.
“I don’t think it was necessary… there wasn’t an opportunity for a run-out there. It was just a bit of frustration and I think he just needs to let it out in other ways.
“It was pretty disappointing. He’s done it a few times and I’m going to have a word to him when we get back to the sheds.”
That was the only real sour note for the home side, who otherwise ran riot against a New Zealand outfit which failed to deliver on the pre-series hype.
The visitors looked well short of match practice throughout the first Test, and it didn’t help that their bowling attack was decimated by injuries to Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham.
Southee is still a chance to play at Perth, but Neesham – who was called up for the injured Corey Anderson – has returned home for treatment on his back problem.
That could result in a Test debut for Mitchell McClenaghan, who has been called up to the Black Caps squad after bagging 12 wickets in his last two games for Auckland in first-class cricket.
Neil Wagner has also joined the touring party as Hesson and company sweat over the condition of Southee, who aggravated a disc in his back on the first day of the Brisbane Test.
But there will be no fairytale for former Australia and Western Australia wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, as the New Zealand selectors will almost certainly fill Neesham’s spot with a bowling option.
“We won’t go with a straight batsman; we have said we need five bowling options,” Hesson told the media this week.
“We saw when we lost one [Southee] how undermanned we were.”
Australia team news
After such a dominant display in the first Test, there should be no cause to alter a single thing at Perth. The starting 11 looks in good touch and there are no fitness concerns to speak of. Expect an unchanged lineup.
Possible Australian XI: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith (C), Voges, M Marsh, Nevill, Johnson, Starc, Lyon, Hazlewood.
New Zealand team news
Jimmy Neesham’s absence poses a problem for the Kiwi selection panel. BJ Watling may have to move up to number six, thus making room for Matt Henry or Mitch McClenaghan as the extra seam option – or both, if Tim Southee is ruled out. Despite a poor display with the ball at the Gabba, Mark Craig is expected to keep his spot as the spinning allrounder.
Possible New Zealand XI: Latham, Guptill, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum (C), Watling, Craig, Henry, Bracewell, Southee, Boult.
Result – Australia to win ($1.38 at WilliamHill.com)
Highest opening partnership – Australia ($1.76 at CrownBet.com)
First innings total – Australia over 352.5 ($1.85 at Sportsbet.com)
The Aussies would love to wrap this series up in straight sets, and the top cricket betting sites are tipping them to do just that.
The home side has momentum and belief after that big win at the Gabba, and the fast-bowling quartet of Johnson, Starc, Hazlewood and Marsh will be eager to strut their stuff on a hard WACA wicket.
The Kiwis looked underdone at Brisbane and should be better for the hitout, especially if they can get through the match without losing key players to injury.
But even if the likes of Boult, Taylor and Guptill get their mojo working, it’s hard to bet against the Aussies here – especially when, as coach Lehmann says, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Top team batsman betting
Adam Voges ($9 at Sportsbet)
If anyone knows how to play at the WACA, it’s Voges. He was good value for his unbeaten 83 at the Gabba in the first innings, albeit under little pressure, and should be primed for his maiden Test appearance at his home ground.
Kane Williamson ($3.25 at CrownBet)
Anyone who doubted this this guy’s credentials will surely be eating humble pie after an outstanding performance in tough circumstances at Brisbane. He is NZ’s best player and belongs in the same category as the likes of Steve Smith and Joe Root.
Best team bowler odds
Mitchell Johnson ($3.50 at Bet365)
MJ was lethal in patches in the first Test, particularly late on day two when he bagged the crucial wickets of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum in quick succession. He was a bit loose and expensive at times, but he should improve on his adopted home deck – one which has brought him plenty of joy over the years.
Trent Boult ($3.40 at Bet365)
The Black Caps’ star left-armer looked way short of match fitness in Brisbane, but he grew into the game with some sharp spells from day two onwards. He’ll be better for the run and should be a yard or two quicker this time around.
2015 Trans-Tasman Trophy fixtures and results
First Test – Australia won by 208 runs
Second Test – November 13-17 at the WACA, Perth
Third Test – November 27-December 1 at Adelaide Oval
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