Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 5th 2015 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 5, 2015
BRISBANE---Agro Aussies against cordial Kiwis.
The first trans-Tasman Test cricket series in four
years has been pitched in a way that earned Brendon
McCullum s New Zealand lineup the tag of the
"politest" team in the international game.
Steve Smith, preparing for his first series as Test
captain, makes no excuses for a hard nose approach
to cricket that comes with the Australian job.
A comment McCullum made in a newspaper col-
umn about one of Smith s decisions during Australia s
recent tour to England set off some acrimony this
week, but both captains have played it down. They
came to a resolution while participating in a ceremony
to mark 100 years since the Australia and New Zealand
Army Corps came together in war.
"We re good. We had a little catch up to lay a
wreath for the ANZACs and I think it s a really impor-
tant test match for us as well, celebrating the Anzacs,
so we ve invited the New Zealand team in for a drink
after the game," Smith said, stipulating that it ll be
a once-off until the conclusion of the series.
"No hard feelings," he said of McCullum s com-
"They ve come over and they re playing that nice
guy act again, but we are going to continue to play
the hard aggressive brand that we play so well."
Australia hasn t lost a Test match at the Gabba in
Brisbane since 1988, and has only ever lost three
tests at home to the New Zealanders.
The first of those was 30 years ago, when Richard
Hadlee took nine wickets in the first innings
and 15 for the match at the Gabba in 1985.
Hadlee took another 11-wicket haul in the
third test in Perth to clinch New Zealand s
only test series win ever in Australia.
Bilateral exchanges haven t been as fre-
quent since, the last being in 2011 when
New Zealand lost the opener but leveled a
two-match series with an unexpected seven-
run win in Hobart.
Under McCullum s leadership, the New
Zealanders have improved as a combination
and have won high praise for a high-risk,
high-reward game plan.
In the One-Day arena, New Zealand beat
Australia in a thrilling but low-scoring World
Cup group match in Auckland earlier this
year but later lost a lopsided final to the
Smith s lineup should start as favourite,
given Australia s imposing record at home,
but is the less settled of the teams. Smith
deputized as captain in the Brisbane Test
against India last year but only took the job
full-time following Michael Clarke s retire-
ment in August.
Opener Chris Rodgers, allrounder Shane
Watson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin have
also retired, leaving inexperienced Joe Burns
and Usman Khawaja to return to the top
order and Peter Nevill to keep wickets.
That leaves a heavier burden than usual
on Smith, who has decided to bat down
one spot at No. 4, and the bowling spear-
heads Mitchell Johnson and Mitch Starc.
Meanwhile Hadlee, in town to mark the
30th anniversary of what he described as
his career peak performance, said Tim
Southee and Trent Boult should be regarded
as New Zealand s best ever new ball com-
bination and predicted Kane Williamson
would end his career as the country s best
With McCullum s flair and Ross Taylor s
batting experience, the New Zealand squad
is well balanced. So the convivial approach
is working for them, even if it unsettles rival
Trans-Tasman Test series opener: Agro Aussies vs calm Kiwis
MOHALI---South Africa captain Hashim Amla
expects the first Test against India to favor spin
bowlers and said he is not surprised that the hosts
are likely to go for pitches aiding turn during the
"It looks a bit different pitch from the Mohali
wicket I know, it might turn a bit," Amla said yesterday.
"As a player, I always expect the conditions to suit
the home team wherever I go in the world. It doesn t
really matter to us."
Amla is aiming to lead the team to its first Test
series victory in 15 years in India and said pace bowlers
Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel
were all capable of playing a hand in it.
"There are some countries where playing in their
home yards is more challenging. Playing India at
home is considered one of the tougher challenges
for any team, so (the prospect) for us to come out
on top is something we are all relishing," Amla said.
Amla said he was hoping to overcome a lean run
of scores in the limited overs leg of the tour and that
"a good one is around the corner."
South Africa, which is in line to win in all three
formats after winning a three-game Twenty20 series
2--0 and a five-game ODI series 3--2, will in all prob-
ability miss Jean-Paul Duminy while Morkel s fitness
was being monitored.
Meanwhile, India captain Virat Kohli was boosted
by the return of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin
after he missed most of the limited overs leg because
of a side strain. Ashwin will also have leg-spinner
Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja
"For the last two to three years, Ashwin has been
our go-to man in Test cricket, Kohli said. "He s some-
one who has done really well in conditions that suit
spinners. You see him taking 5-6 wickets consistently
in those conditions. He is certainly someone who
has taken his game to the next level."
Kohli was not amused by the fact that India s spin
tracks are discussed time and again.
"Pitches are not the focus when we tour abroad,"
Kohli said. "We have to tackle the conditions when
we play away from home, we are judged on that. But
if you win in difficult conditions, you will get more
The remaining tests will be played in Bangalore,
Nagpur and New Delhi. (AP)
Amla braces for spin
challenge in Mohali
Links Archive November 4th 2015 November 6th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page