About the Match
Although Australia are the defending champions in 50-Over World Cup, their performance in this format hasn't been so bright since its conclusion. The World Cup final will repeat itself as Test Cricket takes back seat in Australia. New Zealand will take on the hosts in the three-match One Day International series beginning from 4th November. Since the Australia - New Zealand World Cup final, the teams have met thrice with New Zealand coming on top on two occasions. However, Australians have a better bilateral record historically. They've lost only two of the last fifteen ODIs played on the Australian soil between the two teams. Considering the traditional rivalary and what's at stake, it promises to be a cracker of series opener.
Australians registered a test victory after five consecutive defeats. That would have instilled a lot of confidence after the hammering they received in the fist two tests. Earlier they lost 5-0 to South Africa in the ODI series. Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc and James Faulker, who were missing in the South African ODI series, will make a return in this series which will be a big booster to them.
The Australian batting did relatively well in the ODI series they've played over the past, but bowling let them down often. With the return of pace-bowling trio to the squad, this problem is expected to vanish. The role of David Warer will be important considering his form and fearsome style of play. He along with skipper Steven Smith often sets the tone for the innings as the two batsmen are most experienced and dependable players in the Aussie lineup.
Australians have recently found their diminished confidence with a win in their last Test. They'll be looking to extent their happy streak further and if they can perform as per their potential, the Kiwis will have a job cut out.
Kiwis are coming from two brilliant victories against Pakistan albeit in the longest version of the game. Kane Williamson has stepped in the Brendon McCullum's shoes with sheer brilliance. He has been one of the most prolific run-scorer for the Kiwis regardless of the conditions. He scored with relative ease in India when the others were finding it tough out in the middle.
The Kiwis will miss Ross Taylor who is out of the series as he is set to undergo eye surgery. Corey Anderson, too, will be out of the series owing to an injury. The absence of the experienced duo is definitely a big setback and the youngsters will have to step up.
Colin de Grandhomme was brilliant against Pakistan and he, along with Southee and Boult can be a force to reckon with for the Australian batsmen. Lockie Ferguson, who has been hitting 150Kph consistently has been called up to the Kiwi squad. Overall, the Kiwis have a strong bowling lineup with a bit of inexperienced but talented guys in batting department. If the young guns can fire as they've done in the domestic circuit, the Kiwis can really surprise the hosts.
Kiwis have been one of the strongest ODI unit around since the beginning of 2015 World Cup. Plenty of things have changed since then, but the Kiwis have maintained their standard of play, especially in the shorter versions of the game. Australians haven't done particularly well since then, but they weren't really playing their full-strength team in most of the cases. With the return of experienced bowlers, Australian squad looks far more balanced than before and this along with the home advantage makes them favorites for the upcoming game at Sydney Cricket Ground