New Zealand v Australia First Test Tips: Cummins is an outstanding bet at 3/1

Pat Cummins
Cummins is [3/1] for top Aussie bowler

Ed Hawkins picks out wagers for the first Test at 3/1 and 9/2 and says the Aussies should be far too strong in Wellington...

  • Kiwis could be outclassed

  • Wellington pitch may be tricky

  • Cummins stands out at 3/14.00

  • New Zealand v Australia
    Wednesday 28 February
    , 22:00 UK time
    TV: Live on TNT

    New Zealand v Australia First Test team news

    New Zealand have had their preparation disrupted by injury. Devon Conway took a knock on the finger and needs a fitness test. Rachin Ravindra has a knee niggle but should be fit.

    If Conway is definitely out, Will Young could open the batting with Tom Latham.

    Glenn Phillips could play on merit as he looks to be in competition for the all-rounder's slot with Scott Kuggelijn. The pace attack is tried and trusted with Tim Southee the leader. Neil Wagner has retired so Will O'Rourke has the chance to continue an impressive start.

    Possible XI: Latham, Conway, Williamson, Mitchell, Ravindra, Blundell, Phillips/Kuggelijn, Santner, Southee, Henry, O'Rourke

    Australia are at full-strength and will relish sending out the Cummins-Starc-Hazlewood pace axis again. Nathan Lyon completes a fearsome bowling attack.

    Mitch Marsh was rested from the final T20 to make sure he was ready for this one. Steve Smith will open the batting with Usman Khawaja.

    Travis Head at No 5 is ridiculous depth and perhaps Head may feel aggrieved that Cameron Green was given the prime No 4 slot ahead of him.

    Probable XI: Smith, Khawaja, Labuschagne, Green, Head, M Marsh, Carey, Cummins, Starc, Lyon, Hazlewood

    New Zealand v Australia First Test pitch report

    New Zealand have a tremendous record at the Basin Reserve. They have won six of their last seven. Five of those were by an innings. Apart from a draw, the odd one out was the two-run success in a thriller against England this time last year.

    It's perhaps difficult to gauge the pitch, then, given that the hosts' bowlers have rolled ingenue teams in such conditions (Sri Lanka, West Indies twice, India and Bangladesh).

    Domestically batting was a little tricky in two games in October and November last year with a high score of 325 in six all-out innings. The previous season was a similar story. There were six scores under 225.

    It's hard not to wonder if the Kiwis could get a taste of their own medicine. A dangerous Australia attack could make life difficult if conditions suit. A short of New Zealand's runs at the 280 mark could make sense. No rain is forecast.

    New Zealand v Australia First Test match odds

    New Zealand are the unheralded team the punter loves. And the rationale for a bet on them at 4.804/1 is clear: great home record, conditions a great leveller.

    But caution is advised. New Zealand have lost nine and drawn one of their 10 tests this century against their neighbours. And they've won only once against Australia since 1993.

    Any mission creep on that Aussie price from 1.664/6 to 1.804/5 looks a solid wager in-play.

    Back Australia in-play from 1.804/5

    Bet here

    New Zealand v Australia First Test player bets

    It may come as no surprise to hear that Kane Williamson is the most reliable bet on the top Kiwi first-innings bat market in the last two years. Williamson has won 33.3% of the time. Sportsbook's 11/43.75 offers an edge.

    Daryl Mitchell is not far behind on 25%. We'll side with the latter at 9/25.50 because he's protected from the new ball and is marginally better value.

    For Australia, 4/15.00 Khawaja keeps notching wins and has a rate at 36%. Smith, for the record, is a wasteful 12%.

    Back Daryl Mitchell top NZ 1st innings bat @ 9/25.50

    Bet here

    Pat Cummins could be an outstanding wager at 3/14.00 for top Aussie bowler. He is winning just shy of 32%.

    Alternatively the 5/61.84 that he busts 110.5 performance points looks good. He averages 128 per game in similar conditions in England and South Africa.

    Back Pat Cummins top Australia 1st innings bowler @ 3/14.00

    Bet here

    Now read more cricket match previews with tips

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