Australia won the first test convincingly but the no ball fiasco surrounding umpire Richard Illingworth, where he adjudged a Bracewell delivery to be a no ball, off which Adam Voges was cleaned bowled for just 7, and then went on to make a game changing 239, hogged most of the post-match discussions and headlines.
The second and the final match in this two match series will be the Kiwi captain McCullum's final test and the entire New Zealand team will be keen to give their inspirational leader a farewell victory just like they had done in the final ODI match of the Chappell-Hadlee series, defending 246 runs with all their heart and might.
Let us look at the 3 Fantastico battles that might impact the outcome of the second test between Australia and New Zealand.
Josh Hazlewood Vs Kane Williamson
Josh Hazlewood has been a consistent performer for the Australian team since the past one year or so. His ability to keep the ball on and around the off stump and then swing it both ways has led to the downfall of many a batsman in recent times. He was their best bowler in the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series and in the first test he wreaked havoc on the Kiwi top order snaffling 4 wickets in no time in their first innings.
Kane Williamson is one batsman who is well equipped to play the swinging ball and come out on top but he too had an average first test making just 16 and 22, as he fell to Hazlewood in both the innings. It was Williamson who had tormented the Aussie bowlers in their two test series last year with an avalanche of runs and proving almost impossible to dislodge. Williamson will have to play a high impact innings so that the Kiwi's don't lose a bunch of wickets in the middle overs since it is already significantly weakened by the absence of Ross Taylor.
Nathan Lyon Vs Brendon McCullum
Nathan Lyon might seem to the naked eye to be an innocuous bowler and somebody who could be easily handled. But with a classical off spinner’s action he manages to put enough revolutions on the ball to spin it viciously. He also gets dangerous drift and dip which can be very difficult to negotiate for any batsman along with the extra bounce which he generates due to his high arm action. Brendon McCullum is someone who likes to go after the bowlers and he will certainly not hold back in his final international appearance for the Black Caps. A Lyon-McCullum battle promises to be a fascinating one, with Lyon on the top of his game as a spinner, not afraid to flight the ball, and McCullum not one to hold back and known for his outrageous hitting.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee Vs The Aussie Top Order
Southee and Boult are a dangerous bowling pair - right and left handed, ability to swing the ball both ways and always homing in on the batsman's stumps. It has been their Fantastico pairing that has been one of the biggest reasons for the upsurge of the Kiwi's under McCullum. The Aussie top order will be constantly under fire and pressure when these two champion bowlers will have the ball in their hands and it will be important for them to not loose early wickets to this pair because if that happens then they are most likely to run through their entire batting line up. It promises to be another lip smacking battle that is on the cards when the second test between the Trans-Tasman rivals starts.