What the Black Caps have to do to win second test

By David Leggat

Since his century at Perth in November, there's a belief Australia have worked on a plan to Kane Williamson. Photo / Getty
Since his century at Perth in November, there's a belief Australia have worked on a plan to Kane Williamson. Photo / Getty

New Zealand need to lift themselves and somehow find a way to win the second test against Australia, starting at Hagley Oval tomorrow.

It would be the ideal way to end a season which promised much and hasn't quite delivered it all. So what are the key points which must happen? Here's five ...

1 No more gifting wickets away

Big no no, and some New Zealand batsmen were guilty of batting like millionaires at the Basin Reserve. Can New Zealand's batsmen not play out, say, three maidens? Prosecution exhibits 1 and 2: Martin Guptill and Tom Latham. They weren't alone but there seemed either an unwillingness or inability to bat defensively - not give Australia's bowlers a leg up every now and then - when the situation called for it.

2 Williamson must fire

The Basin was an off match for the world's No2 batsman. These things happen. But if New Zealand are to come up with enough runs for the bowlers to work with, you suspect Kane Williamson is the key figure. Since his century at Perth in November, there's a belief Australia have worked on a plan to him. They've had some success, too. Back Williamson to work a way out of it.

3 Productivity at No6 and 7

Time for Corey Anderson and BJ Watling to show their mettle. Watling's been ordinary since being in Australia. The players love having him in there, but he has to deliver. It has been 10 innings since he passed 35; since the start of the Australian trip he's averaging 17 in six tests. Anderson played his first test in nine months at the Basin. He averages 30 but his allrounder role is pivotal. With Brendon McCullum out of touch, Henry Nicholls finding his way and no Ross Taylor, Nos6 and 7 must get runs.

4 Swinging along

Tim Southee and Trent Boult have fine test records, but they're ordinary against Australia. They were unable to find swing at the Basin. They must rediscover it this weekend to put some skids under Australia's batting order. Whether Neil Wagner or Matt Henry, or both, make the final XI, Southee and Boult are the country's swing kingpins. The Hagley Oval pitch promises help. They must grab it.

5 Final blast from the skipper

This might be asking a bit much as McCullum looks as if his flame has gone out. But this is the final outing and you know he'll be busting to deliver. If he can, consider the galvanising effect it could have.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 02 Oct 2016 00:51:45 Processing Time: 501ms