The Battle of Oceania is here to stay. After the Epic World Rugby Finals at Twickenham, Australia and New Zealand take the battle down under on a different turf as they prepare themselves for the Trans-Tasman Cricket series starting Nov. 5 at Gabba in Brisbane.
On one side, the Kiwis will look to seal their first series win on Aussie soil in almost three decades. On the other side, the young Australian team will look to prove themselves after their dismal tour of England in the last Ashes Series.
Australia’s chief selector, Rod Marsh named the 12-man squad that doesn’t feature any debutant this time. The Team led by Steve Smith, will see Joe Burns open with David Warner while Usman Khawaja has been recalled for the first time in two years. Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazelwood are likely to lead the pace attack while Peter Siddle may not feature in the playing XI.
Fox Sports in their recent column quoted Australia’s full time captain Steve Smith as saying, “Some would find this intimidating or daunting, but for me the word that springs to mind is exciting. We have a chance to start something special here and I’m really honored to be leading the charge in my first Test match as full-time captain”
The Black Caps led by Brendon McCullum, will have some flexibility in their squad for the varying conditions they will be exposed to during the month long series. Tim Southee and Trent Boult have been extremely consistent with their phenomenal pace bowling while Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and captain Brendon McCullum will provide depth in their middle order batting.
Ahead of their clash, ESPNCricInfo quoted Southee saying, “One of our strengths as a bowling attack is that we can swing the ball. If we can get that going it is going to cause more troubles than if it’s not swinging … If it can swing it would be nice but we have performed in other conditions when it hasn’t.”
Australia’s Likely XI: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
New Zealand’s Likely XI: Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Australia vs New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Trophy, 2015, Test 1
Nov. 5-9, 10 AM (Local Time) 12 AM GMT
Brisbane Cricket Ground (Woolloongabba), Brisbane
Australia: Fox Sports. New Zealand: Sky Sport. UK: Sky Sports. USA: Willow TV.
Live Stream: Star Sports