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All you need to know: Black Caps v Australia second test

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Mar 2024, 3:09PM

All you need to know: Black Caps v Australia second test

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Mar 2024, 3:09PM

All you need to know about the Black Caps’ second and final test match against Australia after the visitors won the series opener in Wellington last weekend.

What time is New Zealand vs Australia?

The first ball will be bowled at 11am on Friday, March 8, at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

The hours of play are 11am start, lunch from 1pm to 1.40pm, tea from 3.40pm to 4pm, and close at 6pm.

How to watch New Zealand vs Australia?

Listen to ball-by-ball commentary of every Black Caps match this summer live and free on iHeart Radio with The Alternative Commentary Collective. You can also follow the action with the Herald live blog.

Both tests will be on TVNZ’s Duke and streamed on TVNZ+.

How did the last test between New Zealand and Australia go?
Australia claimed the first test after wrapping up New Zealand’s innings with ease at the Basin Reserve.

The Black Caps began day four on 111-3, trailing by 258 in their bid for an improbable victory, and they were dismissed for 196 as Australia won by 172 runs.

The 369-run target represented a record chase for the hosts and their slim hopes were all but extinguished in the seventh over of the morning.

Having resumed on 56 not out, Rachin Ravindra got himself out cutting Nathan Lyon, and three balls later an inside edge saw Tom Blundell depart for a duck.

Lyon’s next over essentially sealed the result, trapping first-innings top-scorer Glenn Phillips deep in his crease for 1.

That completed the offspinner’s 24th five-wicket bag and confirmed the Black Caps had for the second test in a row erred in opting for four seamers over a frontline spinner.

A couple of those seamers added some quick runs, Scott Kuggeleijn scoring 26 and Matt Henry 14, while at the opposite end Daryl Mitchell (38) played a lone fighting hand.

Lyon soon completed a 10-wicket haul for the test as the tourists sealed the match in a dominant first session.

New Zealand vs Australia’s last five test results

February 2016: Australia won by seven wickets.

December 2019: Australia won by 296 runs.

December 2019: Australia won by 247 runs.

January 2020: Australia won by 279 runs.

February 2024: Australia won by 172 runs.

Most recent test form
New Zealand: L, W, W, W, L

Australia: W, L, W, W, W

(Most recent first)

New Zealand squad vs Australia

Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wck), Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Satner, Ben Sears, Neil Wagner*, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

*Neil Wagner announced his retirement before the first test and was released from the squad after it finished.

Australia squad vs New Zealand

Pat Cummins (c), Steven Smith (vc), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc.

Black Caps dealt another injury blow

The hits keep coming for the Black Caps with a double injury blow ahead of the second test against Australia.

Pace bowler Will O’Rourke and opening batsman Devon Conway have both been ruled out.

O’Rourke suffered a left hamstring strain in the first test defeat in Wellington while Conway will undergo surgery on the left thumb he damaged during the T20I series which ruled him out of the first test.

Uncapped Wellington Firebirds pace-bowler Ben Sears will replace O’Rourke in the 13-man squad and will join the team in Christchurch. Neil Wagner has been released from the squad as planned.

The Black Caps were already without paceman Kyle Jamieson. Canterbury batter Henry Nicholls who was called in as cover for the first test will stay with the squad.

The 26-year-old Sears has 58 first-class wickets from his 19 appearances at an average of 27.

Neil Wagner’s retirement forced debate

Black Caps batsman Kane Williamson has refuted any suggestions of a forced exit for Neil Wagner, emphasising the veteran bowler’s remarkable career and contributions to the team.

It comes after Black Caps great Ross Taylor suggested that Wagner’s retirement from the international scene was “forced” on him.

Wagner, 37, announced his retirement on the eve of the first test in Wellington, after being told he was being released from the squad.

In 64 tests, Wagner took 260 wickets at an average of 27.57 with a strike rate of 52.7. Only Sir Richard Hadlee has a better strike rate in tests among New Zealanders who have taken more than 100 wickets.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Williamson, who alongside captain Tim Southee will play his 100th test match, said he had not seen Taylor’s comments but added: “I don’t think anybody is forced to retire.

“I think last week, [Wagner] had a fantastic week reflecting on what was an incredible career, and we had some amazing moments in the dressing room and, you know, it didn’t all go perfectly obviously, an on-field performance would have helped.

“But it was so much more than that and he’s just done such incredible things for this team and we’ve seen the skill that he has and the numbers that everybody sees. But, you know, the heart and soul and effort that he’s brought to the side and largely led through that for so long.

“It’s been incredible and it was quite a special week for that reason. I think he had a really amazing time.”

Responding to Taylor’s claim of Wagner being overlooked for the Australia series, Williamson stated: “I’m not involved in those discussions, but from what I gather, he’s now retired.”

Williamson and Southee are set to become the fifth and sixth Black Caps to play 100 test matches as the second and final test starts at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday, following in the footsteps of Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor.

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