We said it before the last Australia v New Zealand Test but we’ll say it again: Australia are an incredibly strong team at home.

It doesn’t matter who they play or what’s thrown at them. Their bowlers combine to put constant pressure on opposition batsmen with both pace and spin. And there’s always at least one of their key batsmen who goes on to get a big score.

It was hard enough when you had David Warner and Steve Smith to get out. Now Marnus Labuschagne is just as prolific. Oh, and on one of the few occasions where neither of them got a century, Travis Head did.

As for New Zealand, they’re normally very competitive wherever and whoever they’re playing. But this time, they just haven’t had the chance to get going. A couple of individuals have shone, including centurion Tom Blundell last time out, but never enough players to make a contest out of it.

This match is played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). That’s of relevance for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s the Australian ground where spin is most important and secondly because it means the match might be affected by the ongoing bushfires in the area.

Team News: Australia

Given that this counts for the World Test Championship, Australia are in no mood to make life easy for their opponents and so will play their strongest bating line-up.

Their only doubt is whether they should play Mitchell Swepson in tandem with Nathan Lyon as ‘spin twins’. If Swepson plays, it will probably be instead of James Pattinson.

Pat Cummins was excellent last time out while Mitchel Starc’s thunderbolts continue to trouble New Zealand’s batters.

Team News: New Zealand  

Trent Boult, who was already carrying an injury going into the Series, has picked up another injury. It means he misses out in Sydney and speedster Matt Henry is in line to deputise for him.

With the wicket normally taking spin, the other option is to bring in spinner Will Somerville, possibly at the expense of a batter like Henry Nicholls or indeed for Boult, and instead of Henry.

Opener Blundell will obviously keep his place (he replaced Jeet Raval for the last Test) after his hundred.

Venue For Australia v New Zealand 3rd Test: Sydney Cricket Ground

If you want an indication of how good the wicket is here at the SCG, consider this: last January India declared on 622 against Australia’s all-star pace attack. Yes, of course India have some wonderful batsmen of their own but they certainly weren’t posting that sort of score at other Australian grounds.

It would be no surprise therefore that at a ground where the average first innings score is 377, that there weren’t at least a couple of centuries scored in the match.

Match Odds For Australia v New Zealand

Our best cricket betting tips aren’t on this market because it’s hard to make a case for anything other than a win for Australia at odds of 1.33 with Betway. There’s not much point recommending a satta like that.

The draw at 5.0 with Bet365 could be of some interest. That is if we thought that at least one of the Kiwi batters could really drop anchor and bat long. But there’s little indication that might be the case.

England First Innings Top Batsman Odds

With Blundell high on confidence after that century and Tom Latham (a winning satta for us last time out as a winner of the First Innings Top New Zealand batsman at 5.0) a class act, they may well get some runs between the at the top of the order. It’s lower down the order that the Black Caps have to worry about. Skipper Kane Williamson is seemingly out of form and Ross Taylor has just 108 runs from four knocks

So, it might be worth taking a chance that the tourists can get the highest opening partnership. The Australian opening bowlers are fearsome but so are Tim Southee and Neil Wagner for New Zealand.

It only takes one ball to get a wicket. Though we’ve said the Kiwis are unlikely to be competitive for the whole five days, they may just draw first blood with an early wicket. The 2.38 with Betway that they have the highest opening partnership is the best of cricket betting free tips.

Recommended Bets For Australia v New Zealand

Back New Zealand to have the highest opening partnership @ 2.38 with Betway

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