Fantasy Cricket: Australia vs New Zealand Test II Preview

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CRICKET - AUS vs NZ TEST II

The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will play host to the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand. It was 32 years ago that these neighbours have last played a Boxing Day Test.

Festivities aside, this match presents a great chance for both sides. Australia will look to claim the series, after bringing a 1-0 lead from Perth. New Zealand need to win to keep the series alive and live up to their claim of being a top side.

Australia Preview

The hosts enjoyed complete dominance in the first Test, albeit in the day-night format. All the batsmen got amongst the runs, led by Marnus Labuschagne. David Warner and Steve Smith were not required to be at their best even.

Australia made light of Josh Hazlewood’s absence, as Mitchell Starc led them with nine wickets. His ‘Man of the Match’ performance was supported well by Nathan Lyon. Both remain strong picks for yours fantasy side. The returning James Pattinson should be a strong pick as well.

New Zealand Preview

The visitors need to win this match to remain alive in the hunt for series honours. With the MCG pitch expected to have lots of live grass and moisture, this presents a great chance for New Zealand to win. With Trent Boult returning, the Kiwi seamers deserve a place in your fantasy side.

Tim Southee had a great Perth Test with nine wickets and should present an interesting choice. Same goes with Neil Wagner, who picked up seven wickets in the first Test. Kane Williamson hasn’t really clicked and this could be his chance to shine.

Fantasy Players to Watch

Marnus Labuschagne continues to be a picture of consistency ever since he made it to the Australian playing XI. The right-hander is expected to make the most of his first Boxing Day Test.

Mitchell Starc has made the ball talk in the first Test and will be key for Australia in this match too. Having him in the side looks a must for your fantasy team.

Tim Southee enjoyed a great first Test and will now look for more wickets. He can be a good asset for your fantasy team.

Predicted XIs

Australia: 1 David Warner 2 Joe Burns 3 Marnus Labuschagne 4 Steve Smith 5 Michael Neser 6 Matthew Wade 7 Tim Paine (C & WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Nathan Lyon 11 James Pattinson

New Zealand: 1 Tom Blundell 2 Tom Latham 3 Kane Williamson (C) 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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