After a thumping win in the series opener, Australia is all set for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand. The match will be played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. While Australia will be looking to extend their lead, New Zealand will be desperate to bounce back in this Test and level the series.
Australia continued their dominance in the day-night Tests as they thrashed New Zealand by 277 runs in Perth. David Warner after a horrific Ashes series has been in sublime form and he will look to carry it forward in the second Test as well. However, Australia suffered a crucial blow as Hazlewood got ruled out from the series. Peter Siddle has been called to the squad although bowler is unlikely to play with James Pattinson more likely to come into the side for Hazlewood.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will have plenty of improvements to make. Their batting line up looked fragile against the Australian bowlers and they will look to improve on that. Opener Jeet Raval has been under pressure after two failures in Perth so Tom Blundell is likely to come in the playing XI. The blackcaps will count on Trent Boult and Tim Southee against the heavy Australian batting line up.
A good batting track with a nice green layer has been prepared for this Test match. Pacers will get something out of this pitch as both teams would love to bat first upon winning the toss.
The forecast for this Test is absolutely fine. The temperature will be around 32-38 degree Celsius.
Probable Playing XI
Joe Burns, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (C, WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson.
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult