Australia vs New Zealand Test Series: Rivalry Renewed after 8 Years

Anticipation is reaching fever pitch for Australia’s Test return to New Zealand after an eight-year absence.

The upcoming matches in Wellington and Christchurch are set to captivate capacity crowds, marking a long-awaited reunion between these neighboring cricketing nations.

Australia vs New Zealand Test Series: Rivalry Renewed after Eight Years

NZ chases a rare triumph while Australia aims to improve its foreign record

It’s understandable that excitement is high for Australia‘s eight-year Test series return to New Zealand, with games scheduled to take place in Wellington and Christchurch in front of packed houses. The two teams don’t regularly play against one another in Test cricket, despite living close by and having a lengthy playing history.

The next series after this is scheduled for 2026–2027 in Australia, so things won’t be changing anytime soon, according to the FTP. It highlights the intensity of Test matches amongst dominant nations Australia, England, and India; yet, the Trans-Tasman rivalry has been distinctly biased when they eventually meet.

Over the past three decades, New Zealand has only once defeated Australia in 29 Test matches due to their consistent overmatching. But starting on Thursday, they will have the opportunity to finally break through Australia’s formidable defense in the series opener at the Basin Reserve.

With New Zealand leading the World Test Championship and Australia, the reigning champions, in third place, there’s much more at stake than just bragging rights.

New Zealand‘s formidable pace attack will be looking to take advantage of an Australia batting order that at times found it difficult to overcome the hostile quicks of Pakistan and the West Indies on hard fields during the home season. The weather will likely be seam-friendly on a green pitch.

Australia’s busy time of playing Test cricket comes to a close with this two-match series; in 15 months, they will have played 22 Tests, and then they will take a long break until next summer. Australia has had a great run in all forms, securing a legacy for their core set of talents, but they haven’t won many Test series abroad.

Australia’s only victory since thrashing New Zealand 2-0 at the beginning of 2016 was an inspiring victory in Pakistan two years prior. Otherwise, over that period, they have drawn four series and lost five.

While pushing India in 2017 and last year and drawing the Ashes twice was rather commendable, this aging Australian side should be even more driven as they approach the end of an arduous journey.

Spotlight on Cameron Green  and Daryl Mitchell

During their home Test summer, Australia made only one alteration to their lineup: Cameron Green took the place of retired David Warner. Green’s shoehorning into No. 4 demonstrated the Australian hierarchy’s resolve to reintegrate the youthful all-round player into the lineup.

Australia vs New Zealand Test Series: Rivalry Renewed after Eight Years

Before Shamar Joseph went crazy, Green appeared more confident in the second innings at the Gabba, having started the West Indies match with a couple of poor scores. Green played in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the Tests, therefore he was left out of Australia’s T20I series against New Zealand. He proved his worth by scoring a century for Western Australia against Tasmania. Although Green would want to be at number four, there will be pressure on him to hold down that position. His seam bowling should also be quite useful on New Zealand’s favorable wickets.

Daryl Mitchell, who entered international cricket at the age of 27, looms as an x-factor for New Zealand, having established himself as a major force. He lived in Perth for a while during his early years, which influenced his aggressive playing style. With an average of 53.46 throughout 21 Tests, Mitchell has had an outstanding start to his Test career. After five pointless white-ball matches, he is yet to experience triumph against Australia and has never played Tests against them. Due to a foot ailment, Mitchell will be back at No. 5 after missing the most recent Test match in Hamilton against South Africa and the T20I series against Australia.

Conway misses Due to Injury, Australia Remain Unchanged

Australia will bat first with Steven Smith at the top of the order and Green at No. 4, sticking with their new lineup despite being surprised by the West Indies in their previous Test match. Fringe quicks Scott Boland and Michael Neser, who were designed for the seaming conditions, will not be able to play their ninth consecutive Test match alongside front-liners Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood.

With firebrand Neil Wagner’s retirement and his decision not to resume his bitter feud with Smith, New Zealand enters a new chapter in its history. In their most recent Test matchup with South Africa, they used four quicks, but Mitchell Santner, a left-arm spinner, is probably going to be called up. If New Zealand goes with an all-out pace attack once more, their extra seamer is the one and only Test player, Scott Kuggeleijn.

Will Young is most likely to replace injured opener Devon Conway, who was forced to withdraw from the T20I series against Australia owing to a thumb injury. Henry Nicholls has been invited into the squad. In addition to Kane Williamson, who returned after missing the T20I series owing to the birth of his third child, Mitchell and batter Rachin Ravindra have recovered from their injuries.

An Outlook On Pitch and Conditions

Before the pitch flattens down, there should be plenty of early movement on a grassy surface with bounce and pace. Although it has rained in the days leading up to the game, Wellington is predicted to see clear, cool weather for the first four days. The fifth day is expected to see showers.

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