The Black Caps have had to change their preparation for the Boxing Day test against Australia, with one of their warm-up matches being cancelled due to extreme weather.

Tomorrow's scheduled hit-out against a Victoria XI at Scotch College in Melbourne has been called off due to temperatures expecting to reach between 43-45 degrees, leaving the Black Caps to tweak their plans ahead of the showdown at the MCG.

The match was meant to be day one of a two-day affair, with the unofficial clash planned so the Black Caps bowlers would bowl on Friday, before the batsmen had their turn in the middle on the second day, scheduled for Sunday.

While the batsmen are still set to play on Sunday, with cooler temperatures expected, the bowlers will now have to get through their planned overs in a morning training at the MCG on Saturday.


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Black Caps coach Gary Stead explained how the change in plans shouldn't be a setback, with players still recovering from the first test in Perth.

"It's purely for player welfare – if it's going to be that hot then I'm not sure we're going to get too much out of it, and there's the danger element as well.

"It's hard to underestimate the effect that Perth had on us, we were in 40 degree temperatures every day, and the travel from Perth to Melbourne is pretty grueling as well, guys are still struggling a little bit to get their sleep patterns right. Having the extra day shouldn't do any harm for us at all."

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Bowler Trent Boult will be one of the players getting through his workload in the nets on Saturday, and Stead believes he will be completely fit for Boxing Day after missing the first test with a rib injury.

"Trent bowled really well, he looked somewhere near back to his best, he was really confident running in, so that's pleasing to see and he's certainly on track to be available for the MCG test."

The Black Caps had to call upon drinks regularly in the heat in Perth. Photo / Photosport
The Black Caps had to call upon drinks regularly in the heat in Perth. Photo / Photosport

Boult, who is set to replace the injured Lockie Ferguson in the seam attack for the second test, will be a key figure if the Black Caps are to bounce back from their 296-run thrashing in Perth.

Stead says the team are motivated to put in a much better showing.


"There's going to be a real inner determination to play better than what we did in Perth. Australia outplayed us on those days and we certainly want to rectify that and put up a really strong fight – take the game long and deep and be in a situation where we can put pressure back on them.

"There's a real buzz, I know there's a lot of Kiwis coming over for the match – it's going to be great to have that support and to be out in the middle will be pretty special."