Australia win the toss and bat
Aloha Hawaii. It’s Test time yet again, and time for New Zealand to become the main event of the cricketing summer. It’s, hot, hot, hot in Perth, 40-plus predicted for most of the match, and while Optus Stadium may presently sporting a greenish tinge as it did last year, it should offer bounce and bake and open up as this match progresses. Australia will field the same XI that pulverised Pakistan twice in a row, but Trent Boult looks to be missing for New Zealand through injury. More on line-ups as they come through. The No.2-ranked Kiwis are supposed to give Australia a run for their money in this three-match series. The formbook suggests New Zealand might even win. But precedent is against them: we’ve had 22 Tests on these shores since the Kiwis last won a Test match in Australia. That was at the Waca way back in 1985, the year Mental As Anything unleashed Live It Up on the expectant masses (RIP Andrew ‘Greedy’ Smith). It’s not crazy to imagine that New Zealand can compete on this tour but they’ll have to beat history as well as Australia. Sam Perry has already had his thoughts on this, as did I a few days ago.