New Zealand vs Australia 2nd Test: Preview and Prediction

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Williamson will have to lead the Blackcaps’ batting line-up in the second test against Australia

New Zealand will lock horns against the Australian cricket team in the second match of the two-match test series at Hagley Oval in Christchurch set to commence on Friday. Australia’s tour of New Zealand has been utterly successful as after defeating the Kiwis 3-0 in the T20I series, they are also in pole position in the test series. 

Devon Conway has been sidelined for a longer period due to a thumb injury while Will O’Rourke felt hamstring tightness in the first test and he will be missing a month of action. Ben Sears is expected to make his test debut for the Kiwis in the place of Will O’Rourke. Moreover, Mitchell Santner is also expected to find a spot in the upcoming test depending on the pitch conditions.

Conversely, the Australian team has been performing well under the captaincy of their World Cup-winning skipper Pat Cummins and is unlikely to make any changes to a winning combination. Nevertheless, pundits are divided about dropping Marnus Labuschagne for Cameron Bancroft thus giving former skipper Steve Smith a more comfortable No.3 position. 

The Christchurch Test would also mark the 100th Test for current skipper Tim Southee and former skipper Kane Williamson, making it the fifth occasion of more than one player getting their 100th Test Caps in the long history of Test Cricket.

What have they done so far?

New Zealand started their 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship campaign with a two-match test series against Bangladesh in the last week of November, last year. In the first test, Bangladesh recorded a historic win by defeating the Kiwis in New Zealand in test cricket for the first time. However, the series ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Afterwards, the Kiwis played a two-match series against South Africa in February. Interestingly, New Zealand recorded a historic 2-0 series victory over the Proteas after a wait of 92 years. As of now, with three wins and two losses, the Kiwis are currently in the second spot in the WTC table with a PCT of 60.

On the other hand, the Aussies started their campaign with a thriller 2-2 draw against the Poms in the 2023 Ashes. In December, the Kangaroos whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in a three-match test series. 

Australia later played a two-match series against West Indies, which ended in a 1-1 draw. As a result, the Aussies are currently third in the three WTC table with seven wins in 11 matches, maintaining a PCT of 59.09. 

In the ongoing series, the hosts are currently trailing 1-0 after they suffered a 172-run loss at the Basin Reserve. New Zealand’s decision of bowling first worked well as Matt Henry completed his five-wicket haul, however, Cameron Green guided the Aussies to a total of 383 with his century. Nevertheless, the Kiwis’ batting line-up failed to stay compact against the Aussies as they got all-out at the score of 179 in the first innings.

In the second innings, Glenn Phillips completed his first-ever five-wicket haul in test cricket as he only conceded 45 runs in 16 overs. As a result of Phillips’s stellar bowling, Australia only managed to score 164 runs, eventually setting up a target of 369 runs for the Blackcaps. the target turned out to be supernumerary for New Zealand as they lost the match by 172 runs. 

Head to Head Record

New Zealand and Australia have faced each other in the longest format of cricket on 61 occasions. The Aussies have been heavily dominant in the rivalry as they have won 35 matches. However, the Blackcaps have only recorded eight victories and the remaining 18 matches between the sides have been drawn. 

Key Players

Phillips emerged as the lynchpin for the Kiwis in the first test by giving an all-round performance

Glenn Phillips (New Zealand): In recent times, Glenn Phillips has established himself as a reliable all-rounder in all the formats for the Blackcaps. During the first match of the series, the 27-year-old scored 71 runs in the first innings and also picked up five wickets in the second innings.

Bowling 16 overs, Phillips took five wickets conceding only 45 runs. Hence, he will be playing a major role in the Blackcaps line-up at the Hayley Oval. Apart from Phillips, Matt Henry’s bowling was also impressive in the first test as he picked up a total of eight wickets. 

Cameron Green (Australia): While the whole Australian batting line-up was failing to settle at Basin Reserve, Cameron Green came forward and played an unbeaten knock of 174 runs. Thanks to Green, the Aussies managed to reach a total of 383 in the first innings. 

Green was the second-highest scorer in the second innings with 34 runs, eventually guiding the visitors towards a victory by 172 runs. Consequently, Green’s presence in the middle-order has been the most important factor for the Aussies. In bowling, Nathan Lyon completed a 10-wicket haul and scored 41 runs in the second innings. 

Predicted XIs

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Tom Blundell (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn, Matt Henry, Tim Southee ©, Ben Sears

Australia: Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins ©, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood 


The Aussies have been dominating the hosts massively since they arrived in New Zealand last month. Nevertheless, the Kiwis still have one last chance to force the test series into a 1-1 draw by winning the second test.