February 25, 2021

Vision Tamil

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New Zealand remove Marnus Labuschagne but Steven Smith threatens

1 min read

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl against Australia

New Zealand have taken the brave decision of bowling first on a well-grassed MCG pitch as they aim to level the series in their first Boxing Day Test for 32 years.

There has been much focus on the MCG surface since the abandoned Sheffield Shield between Victoria and Western Australia earlier this month. The previous two Test pitches at the ground have been slow and low with pressure on the venue to improve the surfaces.

Tim Paine admitted he was unsure what he would have done had he won the toss as while the pitch is enticing for the bowlers today there is hot weather forecast during the match.

Australia have resisted the temptation to play a rare five-man attack with just the one change from Perth as James Pattinson replaces the injured Josh Hazlewood.

New Zealand confirmed their XI yesterday with Trent Boult returning from his side injury and Tom Blundell brought in to open the innings in place of the out of form Jeet Raval.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Joe Burns, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Matthew Wade, 6 Travis Head, 7 Tim Paine (capt & wk), 8 James Pattinson, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Nathan Lyon

New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Tom Blundell, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

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