About the Match
Australia’s busy schedule means that a lot of their big name players will not be going to New Zealand for the short ODI series. This could allow an opening for the Kiwis to beat their trans-Tasmanian rivals in what is certain to be a hotly contested series.
1st ODI Preview
The Kiwis are having an excellent summer of cricket after beating Pakistan convincingly and blanking out New Zealand. They will now face their toughest test though as they take on Australia just a few months after being beaten 3-0 by them in Australia.
The New Zealand squad is at full strength and boasts of some excellent firepower in the batting department. Kane Williamson found form against Bangladesh while Tom Latham and Neil Broom also made big runs. Broom averaged 114.00 while making 228 runs from three matches.
Colin Munroe provided the power in the lower middle order and along with Jimmy Neesham, Mitchel Santner and Tom Blundell, make up a serious lower middle order. Back Munroe to make a 50 plus score in this match.
Martin Guptill had a poor series against Bangladesh, scoring only 21 runs in three matches. He has a god record against Australia though and should be a handful on the small New Zealand grounds. The last time New Zealand played against Australia at Eden Park, Martin Guptill scored a brilliant 90 with 5 sixes and help New Zealand score 307 and win by 156 runs.
Ross Taylor has looked a much better batsman after his eye surgery but this series will again be the one that really proves how much of a difference it actually made.
The Kiwi bowling attack was a little flat against Bangladesh and they will be hoping that Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry bring their A game to this series. Henry is our pick for the bowler to take the most wickets in this match and even the series for New Zealand
. He is excellent up front as a change bowler and can bowl Yorkers at will at the death as well.
The Kiwi bowlers will know that this is a young and inexperienced Australian side that has not played away from home much. A few quick wickets could really throw the door open and precipitate a collapse.
The Aussies are going into this series without David Warner, Steve Smith (injury), or Usman Khawaja. While Khawaja has not set the world on fire in the recent chances he has got, the other two are pretty much irreplaceable at the moment.
Their absence will mean that Australia is the most beatable they have been in a long-long time. Underestimating them though will be to the peril of the Kiwis.
Travis Head can expect an extended run at the top of the order after his century in the last ODI against Pakistan, while Shaun Marsh will be keen to continue his recent good for from the Big Bash. We think that Head and Marsh will struggle though in New Zealand on pitches where there will be more movement than they see in Australian conditions.
The crucial number three position could go to Aaron Finch followed by Peter Handscomb or Glenn Maxwell, depending upon the situation of the game. Steve Smith’s replacement, Sam Heazlett, may also get a chance at the top of the order at some point during this series.
We think that this series will be one where Aaron Finch scores a lot of runs. We back him to be Australia’s best batsmen in this series and would even back him to get a hundred in this match
. Glenn Maxwell too should love the small grounds and some oddly shaped boundaries that his unorthodox style of batting can exploit.
The real force for the Aussies though will be their bowling. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Billy Stanlake and possibly Adam Zampa would make the playing eleven along with James Faulkner or Marcus Stoinis as the all-rounder.
Back Hazelwood to get a lot of wickets while Mitchell Starc is never too far away from the game either. Billy Stanlake had a tough initiation into international cricket and would want to make a much better impression here.
The games are probably going to be high scoring and Adam Zampa’s role in the bowling lineup will be crucial. He has done well every time he has been picked but we think he might not like bowling to a powerful Kiwi lineup on these small grounds.
Colin Munroe, in particular, could prove to be Zamapa’s nemesis.
This series is set to be a cracker and should be closely contested. We would recommend backing the home team, New Zealand, for this match though as they have the necessary experience, talent and hunger to start on a winning note against the Aussies