After two comprehensive defeats that surrendered the series, New Zealand hope that the New Year will bring renewed hopes. As Australia wait to host the Kiwis for the New Year Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), things couldn’t have been tougher for New Zealand.
Captain Kane Williamson is an injury doubt, most of the key players are in poor form and the question marks remain. Australia, on the other hand, have rich choices in selection. All those will be covered in our preview to help your fantasy picks.
It has been a series of complete dominance from the Aussies in the series. Marnus Labuschagne continues to score runs at will, while Steve Smith has also got back to form. Travis Head is making waves with his consistency and should be a good pick.
Tim Paine has been impressive too, both with his batting and captaincy decisions. With the ball, it is serious competition among the Australian bowlers. Pat Cummins continues to be excellent, while James Pattinson shows good aggression. Nathan Lyon should fancy his chances at Sydney and can be a dark horse pick.
New Zealand Preview
Having already lost Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult to injuries, the Kiwis are rocked with more injuries. Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson and Mitchell Santner are doubtful for the fixture. Keep an eye on the final XI before choosing them for your side.
The call-up to William Somerville is an interesting one and can be a good fantasy choice. Matt Henry will come into the side, but Neil Wagner remains the best choice for your side. Above all, the defiant Tom Blundell who stuck a ‘Boxing Day’ century is a very nice pick for your team.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Neil Wagner is the warrior that any captain would love in his side. With 14 wickets, Wagner is the leading wicket taker of the series.
Nathan Lyon hasn’t taken a five-for in an innings at Sydney so far. Even in this series, he has been playing support roles. Expect him to lead the show, though, in this match.
Tom Blundell has made the most of his unexpected chance as an opener. There is a bit of confidence in his game which should help him at Sydney.
Australia: 1 David Warner 2 Joe Burns 3 Marnus Labuschagne 4 Steve Smith 5 Travis Head 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 Glenn Phillips 6 BJ Watling (WK) 7 Colin de Grandhomme 8 William Somerville 9 Tim Southee 10 Neil Wagner 11 Matt Henry
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