WACA Ground, Perth
Friday November 13th, 10:30am local time
Many cricket fans were predicting, and hoping for, a close Test match series between a new-look Australia and an emerging New Zealand this summer. However the First Test at the Gabba was anything but close as Australia comprehensively outplayed the tourists in all departments to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Rain didn’t end up playing a big role in the match like we thought it might, but the Draw result did trade into around the $2.50 mark on Day 3, so there were plenty of opportunities to lay our initial bet for a profit as we suggested. But if New Zealand could’ve put up a little more resistance on the final day then perhaps we may have been going to Perth all square.
As it is, Australia are full of confidence and the Kiwis are left licking their wounds. Injuries to all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and strike bowler Tim Southee has left their squad in a state of disarray which looks too much to overcome.
New Zealand are reportedly considering playing an extra bowler in Perth with young quick Matt Henry likely to play. Wicketkeeper BJ Watling and off-spinner Mark Craig will be pushed up the order, and despite both having strong Test batting records, the responsibility of scoring runs against the Australians may prove too much for them. Mitchell McClenaghan and Neil Wagner have also been called into the squad to cover the losses.
Fortunately for the Kiwis, their top order did show moments of class with the bat. Kane Williamson is clearly one of the finest batsmen in the world at the moment, while skipper Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill also look in good form.
It’s with the ball where the Kiwis really struggled, taking only eight wickets for the entire Test match. The pace of the Perth wicket doesn’t necessarily suit them either, but they may be able to get some swing if the breeze comes in.
On the other hand the Australians will be thrilled that their young batting line up performed so brilliantly with Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja both scoring maiden centuries to cement their places for at least the remainder of the summer. Dave Warner was also at his devastating best which took all pressure off the middle and lower order. The Kiwis really need to take early wickets to expose the Aussie middle order if they are to have any chance.
The Australian bowling attack also looks very settled with Johnson, Starc and Hazelwood set to thrive on the bouncy Perth wicket. Conditions will be hot and if the cracks open up, then watch out, as the Aussie quicks go for the jugular!
It never rains in Perth so the weather won’t be saving the Kiwis here. They’ll have to bat awfully well to survive the Australian fast bowling barrage, and even then, how are they going to return fire to combat the strong batting form of the hosts? All indicators are pointing to an Australian victory well inside the distance.
Australia to win at $1.38 at William Hill
Kane Williamson looks a class above the rest so happy to continue to back him to score the most runs for New Zealand.
Kane Williamson Most NZ Runs 1st Inns at $3.50 at Ladbrokes
Steve Smith missed out a little at the Gabba. With everyone else scoring so heavily, Smith relatively missed out with a first innings 48 and a failure in the second innings. He rarely has two bad games in a row, so we’ll back him again to be Australia’s best.
Steve Smith Most Aus Runs 1st Inns at $3.50 at Ladbrokes
Mitchell Johnson will be frothing at the mouth to get out onto the WACA pitch and cause havoc. He has an awesome record on his home pitch and will be suited by the fast, bouncy strip that is likely to be prepared. Happy to back him to lead the way for the Aussies.
Mitch Johnson Most Aus Wickets 1st Inns at $3.25 at Sportsbet
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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