Australia will welcome New Zealand for a series of three Test matches starting with a day-night encounter at the Optus Stadium in Perth. There are many speculations going around about the playing conditions and on whether Australia will make any changes to their team for this match. However, coach Justin Langer has indicated something about the combination.
The last time Australia played three Test matches with an unchanged XI was against South Africa last year on that infamous tour. The first three Tests of the four-match series saw Australia remaining unchanged before it all fell apart in the third Test thanks to sandpapergate. Meanwhile, coach Langer has said that he would be a brave man to tamper with the winning combination.
“I’d be a brave man to change the XI,” said Justin Langer
“I’d be a brave man to change the XI. The boys are playing well. We’ve still got a couple of training sessions, we haven’t had a look at the wicket yet but I’d say at this stage, more than likely we’ll have the same XI,” Langer was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.com. This means that there will be no place for Michael Neser and James Pattinson in the XI when Tim Paine’s men take on Kane Williamson’s side.
The New Zealand side is coming into this Test series ranked 2, unlike the Pakistani side which had a relatively inexperienced bowling lineup. They defeated England 1-0 in the two-match series recently, and have a settled unit to take on an Australia side that is on a very big high.
“I’ve said for 18 months, there used to be a philosophy in Australian cricket, which worked so well for us – it’s harder to get out of the Australian cricket team than it is to get in it. That usually happens when guys are playing well and the team is playing well,” said Langer.
We’ve won the last couple of Test matches. There are definite benefits and advantages in keeping the core group of players together and hopefully, this will be another opportunity this week to do that,” Langer further added.
Also, in consideration are the conditions in Perth with the atmosphere being said like being in a sauna, with temperatures being in the high 40s. However, ICC has no rules to suspend play due to heat, but umpires may allow extra drinks breaks to be taken in order to give the players some respite.
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