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Australia vs. New Zealand Test: Hosts backed to ‘open series with victory’

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New Zealand make the short trip to their neighbours Australia this month, with the pair set to battle it out in three Test matches.

The first match arrives on Thursday, with New Zealand looking to continue their fine form in the format after beating England earlier this month.

But they come up against an Australian side who have only recently thrashed Pakistan in a two-Test series.

The home side are currently 1/3 to pick up a win in the first Test. The travelling outfit are available at 4/1. And a draw is currently 13/2.

With several heavy hitters in the Australian ranks, it will be once again difficult to call who will be their outstanding batsman in the opening Test.

Steve Smith is 15/8 to continue his stunning year and be Australia’s top scorer yet again in the opening match. David Warner is currently 3/1, with Marnus Lambuschagne currently 7/2.

Joe Burns is 11/2 to top score for the hosts, with Matthew Wade available at 9/1. Travis Head and Tim Paine are available at 10/1 and 33/1 respectively.

For the visitors, it’s Kane Williamson at 5/2 who is being backed to produce with the bat. Tom Latham is currently 7/2 to be New Zealand’s top run scorer, with Ross Taylor available at 4/1.

Others looking to shine with the bat include Jeet Raval at 6/1, and Henry Nicholls at 7/1. BJ Watling is currently 9/1, with Tom Blundell currently 10/1.

Pat Cummins is currently 5/2 to be Australia’s top wicket taker in the opening Test. Both Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are 11/4.

And for New Zealand, it’s Trent Boult who could shine brightest with the ball at 9/4. Both Neil Wagner and Tim Southee are available at 3/1 to be the side’s top wicket taker.

Warner is currently 8/1 to clinch the man of the match award, with the likes of Lambuschagne, Williamson and Cummins available at 10/1.

Starc is 11/1 to secure the man of the match trophy, with Smith currently 11/2.

The world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts the second match, with the final encounter at Sydney Cricket Ground. But it’s the Optus Stadium in Perth that’s hosting the first meeting between these two arch-rivals.

The fixture presents the ideal opportunity for the visitors to carry on their winning run in Test cricket. They host India in a two-Test series in February/March.

I'm a Sports Journalism graduate, currently working as a freelance journalist. I currently work for SKY as a freelance sub editor, while I am a graduate of the FISU Young Reporters Programme at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. I'm a Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, can follow me on Twitter or view my linkdin biography here or contact me via my email .

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