Australia are all set to take on New Zealand in the second Test match of three-match series at the Western Australia Cricket Association Stadium (WACA) in Perth on Friday.
The mighty Aussies handed New Zealand a drubbing by 208 runs in the first Test match and to be honest the Kiwis were completely outplayed in the first game at The Gabba in Brisbane. New Zealand, under the leadership of Brendon McCullum, will look to bounce back quickly before the much-anticipated first ever day-night Test match at the Adelaide that will follow this.
Apparently, New Zealand starts off slowly in a series and thankfully they can avenge the humiliating loss in the first Test match as they still have a couple of Test matches to be played.
One of the positives that the Kiwis picked up from the first Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane is the way Kane Williamson handled the Aussie seam attack and went on to score a century in the first innings and a half-century in the second innings.
"Of all the gun batsmen going around, he would be the one I'd choose to bat for my life. Technically, he's probably as equipped as any of them because I think he can take that technique to all different types of pitches. He does everything correctly technically. He's very still at the crease, plays all the shots. I think he's equally as comfortable against the spin and pace bowling," said an impressed Allan Border about Williamson ahead of the second Test match at the WACA in Perth.
Australia will be looking forward to seal the series before they go into the third and final Test match of the series at The Adelaide which will be played under the lights. They are looking to risk the fitness of Josh Hazlewood as well in order to secure the Trans-Tasman trophy. They could have easily called Peter Siddle into the playing XI but head coach Darren Lehmann and skipper Steve Smith seemed to be desperate to win this series.
"Josh's loads are quite high at the moment - he's bowled quite a lot over the past month or two - so it was definitely spoken about. But we think he's going to do a great job out here in Perth. He bowled really well last time he was here, against the South Africans in the one-dayers, so hopefully he can do a good job for us out here this Test match," Smith said ahead of the second Test match which starts Friday morning.
"We'll see how we're going [after that]. There's a reasonable gap between this Test and the next one. Obviously a six-Test summer as well so there's a lot of cricket. We'll wait and see how he pulls up after this Test match. [Siddle] was talked about. He's bowling really well at the moment. But we won the last Test match with this line-up, and we're going in with the same one."
The Australian captain has mentioned that he is not going to change his combinations ahead of the second Test match. On the other hand, New Zealand is sure to make one change as Jimmy Neesham will fly back home because of an injury.
Australia Playing XI: Steve Smith (C),David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
New Zealand Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (C), Matt Henry, BJ Watling (wk), Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee/Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
Where to watch live:
Australia vs New Zealand 2nd Test match is scheduled for a 10 am local time (8:00 am IST, 2:30 am GMT) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 2 & Star Sports HD 2. The live streaming option will be available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.com.
The viewers in the UK can watch Australia vs New Zealand 2nd Test matchin Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. The fans can live stream the same on SkyGO.
Audience in the US can tune into Willow TV to watch the Australia vs New Zealand 2nd Test match and stream the same on Wilow TV online.
The fans in Australia will have to switch to Channel 9 and stream the same on Cricket.com.au.
Cricket fans in New Zealand can watch Australia vs New Zealand 2nd Test match on Sky Sport 1 and Sky Sport HD 1. The live streaming option will be on SkyGo.co.nz.