Hazlewood, Starc hit back strongly late in opening session


Australia won the toss and decided to bowl against New Zealand

Ben Sears will make his debut, while spinner Mitchell Santner has again been overlooked for New Zealand as Australia captain Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bowl on a green-tinged Hagley Oval surface in the second Test.

An unchanged Australia are hoping to make early inroads as they seek to clinch the series after a convincing victory in Wellington. Cool and clear conditions are forecast on the opening day with early seam movement expected.

New Zealand are aiming to rebound with Sears replacing Will O’Rourke, who was ruled out after injuring his hamstring in the first Test.

New Zealand rued the omission of Santner on the spin-friendly Basin Reserve, but he has not won a recall on a ground traditionally not conducive for spin. Seamer Scott Kuggeleijn retained his place after match figures of 2 for 93 in the series-opener.

After their miserable record against Australia continued, having managed just one Test victory since 1993, New Zealand will be spurred by the 100-Test milestones of Kane Williamson and Tim Southee.

Australia will field an unchanged side for the fourth Test in a row and the same bowling quartet for the seventh consecutive match. Playing their 22nd match in 15 months, this is Australia’s last Test until the next home summer against India.

New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Will Young, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Rachin Ravindra, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Glenn Phillips, 8 Scott Kuggeleijn, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Tim Southee (capt), 11 Ben Sears

Australia 1 Usman Khawaja, 2 Steven Smith, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Cameron Green, 5 Travis Head, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood

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