Marnus Labuschagne might get through a lot of chewing gum, but he sees no reason to change his batting ritual after playing a starring role in Australia's 3-0 series whitewash of New Zealand.

Australia completed their series sweep thanks to a David Warner century and another five-for from Nathan Lyon, as they sealed a resounding 279-run win in the third Test in Sydney.

Warner's unbeaten 111 led Australia to 217-2, Tim Paine declaring with a 415-run lead, and a comprehensive win was secured as the Black Caps were skittled for 136.

Labuschagne, who scored 215 runs in the first innings and hit 59 in the second, finished with 549 runs for the three-match series.

"It's been an amazing summer," he said at the post-match presentation where he was given the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

"It's so special to share these moments with your family, who have been part of your journey. It's hard to put [the success] on one thing, but my level of concentration and not doing any silly things.

"A lot of gum but it's working, so why change. I just love the journey and it's been wonderful being part of this Australian team."

Labuschagne, along with Steve Smith and Warner, won praise from Paine, who says he is honoured to captain an Australia side ranked second in the ICC World Test Championship, while adding he hopes success on the pitch provides the nation with some enjoyment amid the ongoing bushfire crisis.

"I am very lucky to captain this group," the captain said. "Batting has become very consistent with Marnus leading this year and Steve and David back.

"It's a pretty simple task for me at times, to be honest. I think we can still get better, there were moments in this series as well when we were not at our best.

"We are really pleased with the progress we have made in the last 12 months but we know have some big series coming up.

"It hasn't been a great few weeks for our country. Our goal as a team is to give the Australians some entertainment. But our thoughts go out to them and firefighters are doing a great job."

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, meanwhile, acknowledged, his side must learn from their humbling defeat.

"Credit to the Australian team," Williamson said. "They were clinical but they put us under pressure session after session. There's so much to learn from this experience.

"We have a bit of time off, so a bit of regrouping. We were outplayed in all departments. There are number of things to work on and improve upon.

"For a number of guys, it's the first time here and you must appreciate it because you won't get this experience anywhere else."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was among three players ruled out of the third Test against Australia on Friday, as the illness-hit Black Caps made five changes to their XI.

Already missing Trent Boult due to his fractured hand, New Zealand were dealt further blows as Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner all fell victim to a virus that has swept their camp.

Tom Latham captained the tourists in Williamson's absence, while Glenn Phillips was handed a Test debut having only arrived in Sydney as cover the previous evening.

The Black Caps' other changes saw Jeet Raval, Will Somerville, Todd Astle and Matt Henry included, with Tim Southee the fifth player to drop out of the line-up from the last Test.

"It's been a tough 48 hours for us," said Latham at the toss. "We've had a bit of sickness and a virus that has gone through the team, which is unfortunate.

"Obviously Kane and Henry are down and Mitch Santner is down, those guys gave their best chance this morning to be right but unfortunately they're not right."

The loss of Williamson represented a particularly tough break for New Zealand, with the 29-year-old averaging 51 in Tests and having made 21 centuries from 78 appearances.

Australia, who won the toss and opted to bat, were unchanged, with Nathan Lyon continuing as the sole frontline spinner despite the call-up of the uncapped Mitchell Swepson.

The hosts are seeking a 3-0 series sweep after comfortably winning the first two Tests in Perth and Melbourne.

Glenn Phillips has been called up to the New Zealand squad for the final Test against Australia as doubts hang over the availability of Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls.

Captain Williamson and fellow batsman Nicholls have been laid low by viral infections ahead of the third Test at the SCG, which starts on Friday.

Uncapped Auckland Aces batsman Phillips has been flown out to Sydney as a precautionary measure. 

Williamson and Nicholls were unable to train on Thursday, but coach Gary Stead is hopeful they will recover in time to be included in the Black Caps side as they attempt to avoid a 3-0 whitewash.

"We've obviously got a few balls up in the air at the moment and we want to be on the safe side and have options," Stead said.

"Glenn has been in terrific form this season and has good versatility with where he can bat and the roles he can play.

"He's been around the Black Caps T20 team for the past couple of years so should feel comfortable in the environment.

"We're still hopeful Henry and Kane will pull through and we will give them every chance to prove their fitness.

"If one or both are ruled out then we will consider our options and, most importantly, how they balance the side for this final Test."

 

Tom Latham hopes Kane Williamson can play for New Zealand in the third Test against Australia as the Black Caps' squad is hit by the flu.

Williamson missed training for the second straight day on Thursday on the eve of the Test starting in Sydney.

Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner are also suffering from illness in a blow to New Zealand's preparations for the final Test of the series at the SCG.

Latham, the New Zealand vice-captain, hopes star batsman and skipper Williamson can take his place.

"I think it'll take a lot [to keep Williamson out]," he told a news conference.

"He's obviously a great leader amongst this group and he's passionate about this group.

"I'm sure if there's any chance of him playing, even if it is a small chance, he'll certainly be playing."

Latham said he was unsure whether the ill New Zealand players would be available, but he is hopeful.

"Obviously it's up in the air at the moment, but a couple of boys are a little bit crook unfortunately," he said.

"But they're going to have today off as well as yesterday so fingers crossed that they'll be right to go tomorrow."

Australia captain Tim Paine hailed the collective contributions of his batting line-up after a crushing 247-run win over New Zealand in Melbourne.

The hosts wrapped up a series-clinching victory with a game to spare in the three-match rubber after Nathan Lyon (4-81) and James Pattinson (3-35) impressed with the ball to dismiss the Black Caps for 240 in their second innings – makeshift opener Tom Blundell's superb 121 sounding the lone note of day-four defiance.

By contrast, Australia's first-innings centurion and man of the match Travis Head was backed up by fifties from Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Paine.

Further handy contributions from David Warner and Matthew Wade set up a total of 467 – establishing a dominant position Australia never relinquished.

"I thought the way we went about this Test from the moment we lost the toss was outstanding," Paine said at the post-match presentation.

"I thought our batters applied themselves superbly on day one and made it easy for Trav and I on the second day to set up a big total.

"Then I thought our bowlers, led by Pat Cummins in the first innings, were superb. James Pattinson started the rot today.

"We're sharing the load. We can't rely on too few and good teams have guys contributing throughout the list and we're starting to do that."

Australia were allowed to post their imposing total by Kane Williamson electing to field after winning the toss, against a backdrop of questionable recent surfaces at the MCG.

"I felt like there was enough in the surface to bowl first and it was obviously very important for us to be on top of our game," said Williamson, who was pinned lbw for nought by Pattinson in the second innings, having been dismissed by the same bowler for nine first time around.

"The surface did offer some sideways movement and swing but credit to Australia for getting through that first session and putting 400 on the board.

"They've got a fantastic attack with pace and bounce but their accuracy stood apart and they did seem to get more out of that surface. All round from our perspective we need to be better in all departments.

"We do need to be better come Sydney. We haven't been at our best but it is important that we try and learn really quickly and improve in all areas."

The final Test of the series begins at the SCG on Thursday next week.

Australia claimed a series win over New Zealand after easing to victory in the Boxing Day Test, despite a fighting display from centurion Tom Blundell.

New Zealand wilted in the Melbourne heat at the MCG, where Australia wrapped up a crushing 247-run win on day four of the second Test on Sunday.

Blundell rallied for the Black Caps, celebrating his second Test hundred in three matches with a resilient 121 runs, but he had no support from his team-mates after Nathan Lyon (4-81) and James Pattinson (3-35) starred.

Marnus Labuschagne (1-11) ended Blundell's unforgettable innings late in the evening as Australia only required nine wickets to skittle New Zealand for 240 – Trent Boult not batting due to a fractured finger.

Australia declared,168-5, 10 overs into the penultimate day – the hosts setting New Zealand a mammoth 488 for victory as temperatures soared.

Already humbled by 296 runs in Perth, the Black Caps faced an uphill battle to keep the series alive in their first Boxing Day appearance in Melbourne in 1987, and Pattinson wreaked havoc on Sunday morning.

After a lively and tenacious start by Pat Cummins (0-47), Mitchell Starc (0-59) and Australia, Pattinson made an immediate impact with the wicket of opener Tom Latham for 8.

Pattinson – back in the team as a replacement for injured quick Josh Hazlewood – flourished on his home ground, claiming another two wickets before lunch to leave New Zealand reeling on 38-3.

After trapping captain Kane Williamson for a duck – his seventh against Australia – Pattinson then removed Ross Taylor (2), who chopped onto his own stumps.

Blundell dug deep following lunch with a half-century as New Zealand showed some fight, only losing one wicket in the middle session after Henry Nicholls (33) fell to Lyon.

BJ Watling (22) and Mitchell Santner (27) were the only other players to provide support for Blundell en route to a century on another forgettable day for New Zealand.

Trent Boult is "likely" to make a timely return for the Boxing Day Test after New Zealand were hammered by Australia at Perth Stadium.

Boult missed the start of the three-match series due to a side strain and could only watch on as Australia sealed a crushing 296-run victory on day four.

The left-arm paceman is set to feature in the second Test at the MCG as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson, who suffered a calf injury on day one of his Test debut in the day-night contest this week.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said: "His [Boult] fitness is looking likely. He was a close one for this so, hopefully, he will be fully fit for the next match."

There may be at least one further change to the side in Melbourne after struggling opening batsman Jeet Raval fell for only one in both innings.

"I suppose Jeet is like every other batsman in the world and that's that they want more and more runs and you always have good days and bad days," Williamson added.

"These are some hard lessons for him and great experiences as well. In terms of looking forward, just having finished this game, it's important we reflect on it and any selections will be based upon the surfaces and the squad that we have at the time."

Williamson refused to blame a lack of time to prepare for the pink-ball match as an excuse for a crushing loss in a match that came so soon after sealing 1-0 series win over England.

The skipper said: "It's hard to just blame preparation. It's always impossible to know what the perfect preparation is, but there are some parts to the pink-ball Test that are unique.

"We've just come off the back of a couple of Test matches against England and there's simply not enough time to achieve all of those things.

"It was important that we just tried to address a number of the parts that we had to adapt to, quickly as possible in training. By no means did we play our best cricket, but at the same time, Australia were outstanding throughout this game.

"Their cricket, but also their pink-ball tactics, were right on point and they basically led from start to finish in this game."

Steve Smith produced a stunning one-handed catch to remove Kane Williamson on the second day of Australia's first Test against New Zealand, though Mitchell Starc always expected his brilliant team-mate to take the chance.

Starc finished with 4-31 from 11 overs at stumps as the Black Caps were reduced to 109-5 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 416.

While Ross Taylor will resume on 66 not out on Saturday, Australia have already got the key wicket of Williamson, who fell for 34 when Starc and Smith combined in spectacular fashion.

Former Australia captain Smith flung out his right hand to take a remarkable diving grab at second slip, not that the bowler of the delivery shared the crowd's amazement.

"Unfortunately for him, you sort of expect that from Steve," Starc explained to reporters.

"He's done that a few times. It was fantastic to create that buzz in the crowd and certainly out on the ground for us.

"The big wicket of Kane - being the captain as well - to hang onto him was a big moment in tonight's session.

"It was a fantastic catch, and it's always nice to see the boys hang on."

Starc added: "It happens pretty quick. It was a special grab.

"He's such a good player, whether it be with bat or in the field, you almost, unfortunately for him, expect that he's going to hold onto those nine times out of 10."

It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, who lost Josh Hazlewood to a suspected hamstring injury after he had bowled just eight balls - one of which clattered into opener Jeet Raval's stumps.

The extent of Hazlewood's problem is due to be confirmed on Saturday, with Starc already facing up to the possibility of Australia being one bowler down for at least the remainder of this Test.

"It's never nice seeing anyone go down, especially one of your best mates," Starc added.

"I'm not sure how those scans have come back, hopefully there's some positivity out of that. I guess it makes it tough now with a bowler down. It was for the Kiwis with [Lockie] Ferguson going down.

"The plus side is we've got them five down tonight and hopefully for Josh it's not too bad and, if it is going to keep him out for the rest of the week, it's not too big a break to get that hammy right."

Starc shone with the pink ball in the day-night Test, though admitted he still prefers all-day matches.

Asked whether he wanted all Tests to be day-night encounters given his performance, Starc replied: "Nope. Don't overdo it, I'd say.

"It's great for cricket but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. Don't take too many away from the red-ball game."

Mitchell Starc put Australia in command in the absence of Josh Hazlewood while Steve Smith took a sensational catch to leave New Zealand in big trouble on day two of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne fell for 143 after making his third consecutive Test century on the opening day at Perth Stadium, and Travis Head struck 56 in Australia's 416 all out.

Neil Wagner (4-92) and Tim Southee (4-93) stepped up again with Black Caps debutant Lockie Ferguson unable bowl due to a calf injury sustained on Thursday.

New Zealand lost both openers inside two overs of their reply, but their trans-Tasman rivals suffered a big blow when Hazlewood ambled off with a suspected hamstring injury after dismissing Jeet Raval. 

Starc came to the fore late in the day-night contest on Friday, Smith diving to remove Williamson (34) in spectacular fashion as the left-arm paceman took 4-31 to reduce the tourists to 109-5 at stumps.

Ross Taylor will resume on Saturday unbeaten on 66 with New Zealand trailing by 307 and BJ Watling yet to get off the mark.

Labuschagne put away a couple of glorious drives after Australia resumed on 248-4, but Wagner ended his fifth-wicket stand of 76 with Travis Head by bowling the in-form number three around his legs.

Head looked in great touch in a positive knock, finding the boundary frequently before driving Southee to Mitchell Santner in the covers.

The Black Caps bowled with discipline after lunch, and Raval, used more than he would have anticipated in the absence of Ferguson, dismissed Pat Cummins for 20.

Starc added a brisk 30, smashing Santner for six over long-on, and captain Tim Paine a patient 39 before both were dismissed by Southee, with Australia all out on the stroke of tea.

New Zealand got off to a nightmare start to their reply under the lights, Tom Latham caught and bowled by Starc without scoring in the first over and Hazlewood cleaning up Raval with only his fourth ball.

Taylor joined Williamson at the crease with the tourists in the mire on 1-2, and they would have been relieved to see Hazlewood walk off after pulling up in his second over.

The current and former captain had to contend with some hostile short stuff from Cummins and Starc, but they weathered the storm under pressure and Taylor struck Nathan Lyon for three boundaries in an over.

There was no review from Australia when Williamson appeared to feather Cummins behind, but Smith took off to his right to grab a stunning one-handed catch to remove the prolific skipper - ending a stand of 76.

Although Taylor brought up a hard-earned half-century, Starc strangled Henry Nicholls caught behind down the leg side and generated late swing to bowl nightwatchman Wagner first ball in a great spell to leave New Zealand on the ropes.

England captain Joe Root backed Jofra Archer to bounce back after the paceman struggled to have an impact in the 1-0 Test series loss to New Zealand.

Archer finished with just two wickets at an average of 104.50 as England lost the series after the second Test was drawn in Hamilton on Tuesday.

But Root backed the 24-year-old, who saw Joe Denly drop a simple chance to dismiss Kane Williamson off his bowling on day five, to respond.

"He's found out that Test cricket is hard. You sometimes don't get the rewards you deserve in Test cricket," he told Sky Sports.

"He is a fantastic talent and there's no doubt he's going to contribute to England in Test cricket.

"I expect him to bounce back quite quickly. He's a fast learner."

Williamson and Ross Taylor made unbeaten centuries at Seddon Park before the rain arrived, leading to a drawn second Test.

Root was unsurprisingly left disappointed after the series loss, saying: "It was a frustrating day.

"I thought we tried everything as a bowling group, a couple of chances didn't stick. I thought we were forcing the issue a lot of the time."

Black Caps captain Williamson praised his team after holding on for a draw on a flat pitch in the second Test.

"It was a great fighting effort over the last couple of weeks. We know how strong the England side is. To lose both tosses but to keep showing that fight was really pleasing to see," he said.

"The first match for us was a fantastic victory. To come here and back it up with another strong performance was really pleasing."

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor scored centuries before the rain arrived as the second Test between New Zealand and England was drawn on Tuesday.

Williamson (104) and Taylor (105) were unbeaten when the weather stopped play in the second session on day five at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The pair had put on 213 for the third wicket as the Black Caps got to 241-2 – a lead of 140 runs.

England had their chances – Joe Denly dropped a simple catch in the opening session – but fell to a 1-0 series defeat.

The flat Seddon Park pitch continued to offer little, but England did themselves no favours in their bid for an unlikely victory to begin day five.

Williamson was dropped on 39, Ollie Pope unable to hold onto a regulation catch down leg side off Ben Stokes (0-58).

Denly then put down an even easier chance when the New Zealand captain was on 62.

Jofra Archer (0-27) was already celebrating as Williamson poked a soft shot to Denly at midwicket, but the simple chance was dropped.

That was as close as England got to a wicket as Williamson reached his 21st Test century and Taylor his 19th after back-to-back sixes.

Taylor also went past 7,000 Test runs, becoming the second New Zealander – after Stephen Fleming – to reach the milestone.

Joe Root believes England can win the second Test against New Zealand if they can get on a "wicket train" early on the final day.

England captain Root reached 226 on day four – his first overseas double century and his longest innings at 10 hours, 36 minutes – at Seddon Park before falling to Mitchell Santner as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 21 runs.

New Zealand saw Jeet Raval fall to a second-ball duck and Tom Latham dismissed for 18 in the final session, but Kane Williamson (37 not out) and Ross Taylor (31no) guided the Black Caps to stumps.

A draw appears to be the most likely result as rain is forecast for much of Tuesday, but Root thinks England have a shot at securing a 1-1 series draw if they can get Williamson and Taylor out quickly.

"If we can make an early breakthrough, it could get us on a bit of a wicket train, because they're such key figures in their batting line-up," said Root.

"They've got huge amounts of experience and are class players, so it would give our guys a lot of confidence for sure.

"They're two experienced players who you expect a bit of rearguard from – they know how to play in those situations, and on a good surface you expect a bit of a fightback from the number two side in the world."

He added: "I wanted to try to get us in a position where we could force a result in this game. A good couple of wickets tonight, it would have been nice to get a couple more.

"But I still feel it we can sneak a couple tomorrow morning first thing – I know there's a bit of weather around but you just never know. There will be one big last push from everyone to try and come away with a levelled-up series.

"We'd have taken this position at the start of the day."

Neil Wagner sparked the decimation of England's tail by removing Ollie Pope and he went on to claim his fourth five-wicket haul in as many Tests, but the left-armer was modest when assessing his performance.

"I was a bit lucky to get the rewards. All the other bowlers bowled well, too, and grafted away," said Wagner.

"It just sort of came my way and I ended up getting a couple of wickets which is quite nice and pleasing and satisfying.

"But all the bowlers bowled well with not a lot of luck and reward. We hunt as a pack and bowl really well in partnerships and I was lucky it came my way."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will seek out Jofra Archer for a personal apology having said sorry on behalf of his country after the England bowler was racially abused by a fan.

An investigation was launched by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) after Archer said he was targeted during the first Test at Bay Oval.

The 24-year-old made 30 in England's second innings as Joe Root's team tried to salvage a draw, only for the Black Caps to claim an innings-and-65-run win in the final session of the last day.

After the match, Archer wrote on Twitter: "A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team, the crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy."

NZC apologised to Archer and vowed to identify the spectator, and Williamson said he intends to speak with the bowler himself too.

"I will try, over the next few days if I can see him, definitely," he told stuff.co.nz.

"It's certainly against everything that we as Kiwis are about, and I certainly hope that nothing like that ever happens again.

"I can only apologise on behalf of Kiwis to Jofra, not only from our team and how we look to conduct ourselves, but what we expect of Kiwis in general."

Williamson went on to describe the abuse as "horrific".

Asked if he was shocked, he added: "Absolutely, 100 per cent.

"We were out there too and didn't hear anything… obviously we were focusing on other things.

"It's a horrific thing. In a country, and a setting where it is very much multi-cultural, it's something we need to put to bed quickly and hope nothing like that ever happens again. It certainly won't if there's any influence we can have on it."

The second Test begins in Hamilton on Thursday and England's director of cricket Ashley Giles promised Archer the full support of his team.

"The tweet that went out [from Archer] was obviously emotional. It hurts," Giles told ESPN.

"We fully support Jof - there is no place for racism in the game and Jof is part of our team. Whatever the abuse, we're right behind him.

"Our team will rally round him but it's a serious incident. He's a young man making his way in the game and we don't need this sort of thing. I'm hopeful they [NZC] will find out who did it. They're working very hard to find the culprit."

Kane Williamson has hailed a special performance from his New Zealand team after the Black Caps dismantled England in the first Test of a two-match series.

After BJ Watling (205) and Mitchell Santner (126) starred for New Zealand with the bat, Neil Wagner stole the show on Monday with a five-wicket haul to claim an innings-and-65-runs win at Mount Maunganui.

England had looked in a promising position at the end of their first innings, having accumulated 353, with Rory Burns (52), Joe Denly (74) and Ben Stokes (91) all registering half-centuries.

However, Williamson - who scored 51 himself - has put the difference between the sides down to the impact of Watling and Santner.

"To lose the toss and be 350 behind in the first innings required something special," Williamson said. "And it was something special for 200 overs to get us into a position which gave us a chance.

"To get 600 gave us that opportunity to bowl last on that wicket, so a huge amount of credit goes to the way the middle-order built those partnerships.

"BJ Watling with 200 and Mitch Santner with his first Test hundred were incredibly valuable and hugely required. Colin de Grandhomme batted well, too.

"The pitch started to deteriorate which is what you want to see in Test cricket. But when you do see that you want to have won the toss. This is certainly right up there in terms of a tough, grinding Test victory.

"Scores of 50 and 60 weren't enough to turn the momentum from England's first innings, it did require something large and for a long period of time and that's what those guys did. It was a brilliant effort against a very strong England bowling attack.

"It was outstanding to see that middle order apply themselves like that. BJ is such a tough competitor and just cares about getting the team into a position to win cricket games. It goes a long way to him applying himself for near on 500 balls, which is an amazing effort. A lot of people wish they could bat 500 balls, including myself.

"It was a brilliant, brilliant performance and it took a huge amount of hard work. For BJ and Mitch to keep soaking up that pressure was outstanding and something that is clearly very hard to do for everybody."

New Zealand's victory was somewhat overshadowed by Jofra Archer stating he had received racist abuse from a spectator while walking off after he was dismissed for 30 towards the end of England's second innings.

An investigation has been opened and New Zealand Cricket promised to apologise to Barbados-born Archer on Tuesday, ahead of the second Test in Hamilton three days later.

Jack Leach admitted England came up short of their target with the bat against New Zealand but he was heartened by an apparently deteriorating pitch at Bay Oval.

The left-armer was the not-out batsman as England were dismissed for 353, having at one stage been 277-4 in the first of two Tests.

England made strong headway with the ball as the Black Caps were reduced to 144-4, with the key wicket of captain Kane Williamson for 51 providing a boost for the tourists late in the day.

It was the nature of that dismissal, brought about by Sam Curran's viciously bouncing length delivery, that offered added encouragement to Leach.

"The ball from Sam Curran to get Kane Williamson misbehaved and that's a good sign when you've got runs on the board," said Leach, who accounted for opener Jeet Raval.

"We would have liked to have got more runs, we were aiming for at least 400.

"We wanted that big score and we wanted a century in there and that's something we're working hard to do.

"Hopefully that'll come in the second innings."

Tim Southee, who posted figures of 4-88, conceded the loss of talisman Williamson with the close of the day's play in sight was a bitter pill to swallow, but he was pleased to have limited the damage England could do in their first innings.

"It would have been nice to be three down but we've still got batting to come," he said.

"I thought we bowled well [on Thursday] and we got our rewards for that now. We would have taken 6-112 at the start of the day."

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