Zimbabwe bat first
Toss Zimbabwe elected to bat
Heath Streak decided to bat first after winning the toss in the second Test at Sydney. Zimbabwe suffered a blow to their hopes, though, when Sean Ervine, their best performer in the first Test, was forced out of the match with a twisted knee. He injured the knee in a warm-up game of soccer. His place in the side was taken by Gavin Ewing, while Blessing Mawhire, who came on tour more as an observer to work with Bruce Reid, the Zimbabwe bowling coach, got his second Test cap. Douglas Hondo was left out of the line-up.
The Australians made three changes, all forced upon them through injuries. Brad Williams - who will take the new ball on his debut Test - replaced Jason Gillespie - while Simon Katich and Brad Hogg got their first opportunities to play a Test on Australian soil. Steve Waugh said at the toss that while the injuries in Perth were of concern, the positive was that it gave other players a chance.
Streak indicated that the pitch looked like it would be on the slower side, and the challenge was to get through the first morning, especially since there was some moisture in the track. Weather conditions in Sydney were overcast at the time of the toss: showers had already fallen in Sydney but the forecast suggested that the skies would clear up later in the day. The temperature was expected to get to 17 degrees.
Australia 1 Matthew Hayden, 2 Justin Langer, 3 Ricky Ponting, 4 Damien Martyn, 5 Simon Katich, 6 Steve Waugh (capt), 7 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 8 Andy Bichel, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Brad Hogg, 11 Brad Williams.
Zimbabwe 1 Dion Ebrahim, 2 Trevor Gripper, 3 Mark Vermeulen, 4 Stuart Carlisle, 5 Craig Wishart, 6 Heath Streak (capt), 7 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 8 Gavin Ewing, 9 Andy Blignaut, 10 Ray Price, 11 Blessing Mawhire.