Australia playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand announced

Updated - 28 Feb 2024, 01:07 PM

Australia captain Pat Cummins
Australia captain Pat Cummins Image: X

Pat Cummins and Co. have named their playing XI for the first Test match against New Zealand starting from February 29 at the Basin Reserve ground in Wellington. Australia have fielded the same bowling attack that has played for them in the past five Tests. This includes captain Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and all-rounder Pat Cummins.

Australia have landed up the same playing XI that played against West Indies in the second Test match at The Gabba in Brisbane. The last time the Pat Cummins-led side made a change to their side was during the fifth Ashes 2023 Test against England when Todd Murphy came into the side for injured Nathan Lyon.

Also, the Australian management have only shifted positions as Steve Smith was sent to open after David Warner’s position became vacant after he retired from the red ball format. Cameron Green has been given Smith’s number four position and has been consistently playing in that batting spot.

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Australia have the experience of Usman Khawaja who has been their highest Test run scorer from the past few months in Tests, who will be partnered by Steve Smith and would look forward to score some runs and regain his lost touch. At number three, the Aussies will have the former world number one Test batter Marnus Labuschagne, who has not been consistent with the bat in his recent Test innings.

Cameron Green would be playing at number followed by Travis Head, who has been in sublime form in the past few games. Mitchell Marsh will give his services at number six whereas, Alex Carey will play as the wicketkeeper-batsman at number 7. Captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood, will complete the Australian playing XI.

The World Test champions sustained a humiliating 8-run defeat against West Indies in the last Test match they played earlier this month. The Aussies were destroyed by young West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph who ripped through the Australian batting lineup and picked up a seven-wicket haul to seal the match for the Calypso Kings in Brisbane.

However, Pat Cummins and Co. would be high on confidence after their 3-0 victory in the T20I series against the Kiwis. The Aussies have never lost to the Blackcaps in a Test match since 2011 and would look forward to continuing the momentum in the upcoming Test series.

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On the other hand, New Zealand are also dented with a huge blow as opener Devon Conway would be missing the first Test match against Australia due to a thumb injury. Conway also missed out on the third T20I match when he injured his thumb during the second match. The Kiwis are coming into the series after defeating an inexperienced South African team by 2-0.

Australia cannot be kept out of contention from winning the contest against New Zealand as the past few months have been like a fairytale for the Aussies. Australia won the World Test Championship followed by the Ashes and ODI World Cup in 2023.

Australia’s playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand

Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

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