Brendon McCullum will play his 101st and final Test against Australia on Saturday © Getty Images
Brendon McCullum will play his 101st and final Test against Australia on Saturday © Getty Images

New Zealand will hope to give their skipper Brendon McCullum a fitting send off in the second test against Australia at Christchurch. Having lost the first Test at Wellington by an innings and 52 runs, New Zealand will want to make a strong comeback in this Test and level the series. New Zealand will have to show a lot of character if they are to bounce back in the series. Australia will yet again be remorseless in their approach and will want to complete a clean sweep over the hosts. Pramod Ananth lists the key battles for McCullum’s final international match. FULL SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Australia, 2nd Test at Christchurch

Martin Guptill vs Josh Hazlewood: Hazlewood was brilliant in the first test, especial;;y in the first innings, where he wrecked havoc in the opening minutes or so.  He managed to get rid of Guptill after persisting with that nagging line outside off. Hazlewood will once again look to do the same and get rid of one of the men in form for New Zealand early on. New Zealand vs Australia, 2nd Test at Christchurch: Preview

Brendon McCullum vs Nathan Lyon: McCullum is someone, who does not like to be kept quiet. He will want to be the one dictating terms in the middle. McCullum likes it when the ball comes on to the bat and introducing spin immediately when he comes in might be a good option. Lyon may force a mistake or two early on in McCullum’s innings and get rid of him. On the contrary, if McCullum gets is eye in, Lyon could take a pounding. READ: New Zealand vs Australia 2015-16, 2nd Test at Christchurch: Hosts’ likely XI for Brendon McCullum’s farewell Test

David Warner vs Tim Southee: Southee managed to get New Zealand off to an excellent start as he got rid of openers Joe Burns and David Warner. Southee bowls consistently at close to 140 and Warner will look to use his pace to good effect and whack him to all parts. Southee’s best chance of dismissing Warner will be in the early stages as a well-set Warner will be hard to dismiss. With Southee’s pace, he can easily force an outside edge, bowling over the wicket, across Warner. Will be an intriguing contest indeed!

Steven Smith vs Trent Boult: Boult did not have a particularly good game at Wellington and he will be rearing to go against the Aussies in the second Test. Smith has been a suspect outside off and Boult with can be deadly with his in and away swingers against the Australian skipper.  Smith moves around a lot but sometimes gets stuck in his crease. This is where the opportunity of dismissing him will arise. Smith is the last year or so has come through all challenges ahead of him and his battle with Boult will be no different. Boult has been in decent touch of late, but will have to pick up a better show than he did in the first Test. READ: New Zealand vs Australia 2015-16, 2nd Test at Christchurch: Not attaining, but remaining No. 1 will be Australia’s true achievement

Kane Williamson vs James Pattinson: It will not be easy to fill peter Siddle’s shoes, but Pattinson has what it takes to perform at the highest level. Siddle managed to get rid of Williamson in the first innings and would have surely handed out a few tips to him. Williamson was dismissed caught behind in both innings. If Pattinson consistently manages to bowl at the right channels, chances of Williamson poking at it will be high. Williamson has proved that he can play the long innings, but Pattinson could be a surprise package as many in the New Zealand side including Williamson would not have faced him.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz