Well, the first test is run and done, and the Aussies crushed the Kiwis by 296 runs, not allowing the Kiwis to top 200 in either batting innings. Whilst the loss of Lockie Ferguson killed the Kiwis early, they simply weren’t able to make enough runs to put any pressure on the Aussies at all during the course of the match.
The Kiwis actually bowled well enough, as shown by them having the Aussies 9-217 in the second innings, and the low run rate they held the Aussies to across both innings, but losing early wickets in both innings stunted their opportunities to build any sort of decent score.
So, let’s have a look at who were the Prince’s and who were the Paupers
1: Mitch Starc – 9 wickets for the match, including 5 in the first innings where he ripped the heart out of the Kiwis with 4 wickets under lights. He bowled with aggression, movement and discipline and, importantly, was able to knock over the top order. He’s the most successful pink ball bowler in the world and he showed exactly why in this match.
2: Marnus Labushagne – 143 in the 1st innings, then 50 in the 2nd. He’s in rare form and has topped 1000 runs in the first full test summer, which is simply incredible, especially when you consider had Steve Smith not been concussed in the 2nd test in the Ashes, he’d probably not even be in the Test side now.
3: Neil Wagner – Showed incredible stamina as he bowled 60 overs in stifling heat, and always brought the intensity needed to at least try and shake up the Aussie batting order by bowling short regularly. It was great to watch and he simply has to be admired as he’s an awesome competitor. Took 7 wickets for the game and regularly test the Aussie batsman.
4: Nathan Lyon – Took 6 wickets for the game, including 4 in the 2nd innings, as he helped bowl us to victory. The big thing was, 3 of his 4 wickets in the 2nd innings were top order batsman including Latham and Williamson who were two of the 3 big wickets we needed. He’s starting to get back in to some form now, which is important for the remainder of the summer.
5: Tim Southee – 9 wickets for the match and like Wagner, had to shoulder a big load after Ferguson was lost through injury. He continued to run in and bowl good areas and generally held the Aussies batsman at bay. He’ll be looking forward to getting back in partnership with Trent Boult, if as expected he returns, as they have a superb partnership together. He’s one kiwi player who can hold his head high.
1: Jeet Raval – Made 2 runs for the test, only just eclipsing his tally with the ball!! He’s averaged less than 20 in this test calendar year, and will be hoping he can find some form soon. Will be interesting to see if his technique is suited here but the Kiwis need him to find some runs or the Kiwis middle order will be exposed early each time.
2: Tom Latham – A first innings duck, followed by a poor dismissal in the 2nd off Lyon where he played back and was plumb in front. He’s made the most runs for the Kiwis this season and they’ll need him to get amongst the runs to help out Williamson and Taylor. In Australia, Latham has averaged only id 20s, so he’ll need to change history to get amongst the runs.
3: Lockie Ferguson – Test debut, bowled 11 overs, no wickets and tore a calf ending his test match a lot earlier than he’d have wanted. Will now miss the rest of the Aussie summer so his first tour abroad is over before it really started.
4: Josh Hazelwood – Like Ferguson, his test finished early through injury but at least he took a wicket. He’s going to miss the Boxing Day test at least thus giving another guy a chance to take his spot. He’s been one of our most important
5: Travis Head – Might be harsh, having made 56 in the first innings, but again failed in the 2nd with just 5. Should have made the most of his first innings 50, converting it to his 2nd test hundred, instead he threw it away again and this is the most annoying about Head. He’s clearly got the talent, but he’s lacking the hunger to really cash in when he’s on top as the best players do.