Perth: Skipper Tim Paine says Australia will benefit from the oppressive conditions tipped for their series opener against New Zealand starting on Thursday, as he flagged an unchanged side for the match at Perth Stadium.
Australia come into the three-Test series on the back of a dominating 2-0 win over Pakistan that featured innings victories in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Australia struggled after last year’s damaging ball-tampering scandal saw Steve Smith and David Warner suspended for a year but they have started to find continuity again, with the same XI likely to be used for the third straight Test.
“I think we’re going in with the same team,” Paine told reporters on Wednesday. “We’ve been playing some really good cricket. We’re trying to get a consistent team together.”
Searing conditions are forecast for the inaugural day-night Test in Perth with the first four days expected to hit near 40 degrees Celsius (104°F).
“We thrive on these conditions,” said Paine. “I think it can be a real advantage to us. Hopefully we can see some pace and bounce like last year.
“There is going to be some extreme heat. Perhaps it will break up and crack up and be difficult to bat in the backend.”
Having beaten Pakistan with the pink ball in Adelaide, Australia will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten day-night run to seven.
“You want to be bowling as much as you can with the lights on,” Paine said. “During the day it’s about being really disciplined and really patient.”
Both teams will wear black armbands in tribute to the victims of New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption.
Team: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.
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Besides his 146-ball 91 at in the second innings at Gabba, Gill also had another half-century and looked comfortable in almost all his outings.
Paine's performance behind the wickets and his tactics as captain in the just-concluded Test series against India which Australia lost 1-2 were severely criticised by former players.
Smith has faced accusations he had been trying to cheat by scuffing up batsman Rishabh Pant's guard at the crease during the tense drawn third Test at Sydney, which left the series locked at 1-1.