Deadline: December 26, 2019 at 5:30 AM IST
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has a reputation of producing even contest between bat and ball. There will be some lateral movement on the opening day, and as the match progresses, the cracks will open up and assist spinners. Pick batsmen who have a good footwork.
Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle
New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ images to get the data while making your fantasy team.
Note: You can now select 1-4 wicketkeepers, 1-6 batsmen, 1-6 all-rounders, 1-6 bowler.
Wicketkeeper: BJ Watling
Batsmen: David Warner, Steven Smith, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson
All-rounders: Marnus Labuschagne (c)
Bowlers: Neil Wagner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc (vc), Tim Southee, Trent Boult/Nathan Lyon
New Zealand bowlers gave their all to restrict Australia in both innings, but it is their batting that lacked teeth. Barring Ross Taylor, no New Zealand batsman could find his feet. With the series on the line, they will have to find a way to stay longer at the crease.
Players To Watch Out For
No one, not even Steven Smith, has reached 1,000 runs in Test cricket this year. Marnus Labuschagne has achieved the feat in 10 Tests at an average of 68.1. To make things interesting, he has scored three consecutive hundreds. In a long time now, someone barring Virat Kohli has managed to slightly overshadow Smith who has not managed to reach the three-figure mark in 4 Tests.
Joe Burns and Travis Head looked in a decent touch, scoring half-centuries. Come to think of it, so strong is the Australian batting that we haven’t even shed light on David Warner. He could not play an impactful innings at Perth, but let’s not forget the fact that a match before he had scored a triple-century.
Ross Taylor did what he usually does: rescue his team when at sea. In all he scored 102 runs against a bowling that was ripping his team apart. Meanwhile, Kane Williamson struggled to leave good deliveries. Given his superior talent, there’s no doubt that he will make amends at Melbourne.
Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, taking 9 wickets in the match. As always is the case, he bowled in the corridor of uncertainty and had the Australians guessing. Meanwhile, Neil Wagner dismissed Labuschagne and Smith twice in the match. There’s a reason he is the No. 3 bowler in the ICC Test Rankings for bowlers.
Mitchell Starc was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-round performance. He scored 53 runs and sniped up 9 wickets in the match. If anything, he is the fantasy players’ delight.