About the Match
An extremely frustrating washout at Napier has meant that the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is still alive coming into the last match. There is a lot at stake here for both teams. Can New Zealand reclaim the trophy or will Australia bounce back after their heartbreaking loss in the first game?
3rd ODI Preview
The New Zealand team has been very flexible about its team composition and personnel under Mike Hesson. They do not hesitate to recall players that have been out of international cricket for a long time or have changed their batting position to find form and try to pick a playing eleven suited to the conditions on offer, even if it means dropping some players that have done well in the past match.
This is what they are attempting to for this match as well. There are expectations that the pitch at Seddon Park, Hamilton is going to be a slow one with plenty on offer for the spinners. A look at some of their previous results shows that the spinners have held sway at this venue.
In fact, the last match here was between New Zealand and Australia almost exactly a year ago where New Zealand batted first, scored 246 and won by 55 runs.
Ish Sodhi has been added to the squad and he will almost certainly play this match. Dean Brownlie will also be waiting for just a little bit longer to make his international return, although, Guptill will definitely be missed by Australia.
The serenity and calm that Kane Williamson provides at the crease will be invaluable and we back him to come good in this match. Back him to make the top score from the New Zealand side
. There is a good likelihood of this match also being a low-scoring match where the team winning the toss will look to bat first.
Jimmy Neesham is our other pick to make a significant contribution in this match with the bat.
New Zealand’s bowling will be led by Trent Boult and Tim Southee, both of whom were impressive at the start but poor in the death overs. The spinners, Santner and Sodhi, will be the ones to back to get the most wickets in this match.
The fifth bowler quota for New Zealand is being completed by Jimmy Neesham and Colin Munro. Both of them were targeted in the first match and will be in this match as well. They will need to bowl much better to keep the pressure on once the front line bowlers have finished their spells.
It is not often that Australia goes into the deciding match of a series as the underdog. This Australian team though is missing some of its first choice players and is under pressure due to a very demanding schedule.
There is also the fact of them losing their number one ranking in this format of the game should they lose this game. A couple of other results need to go South Africa’s way but there is a very good chance Australia will slip to the second spot on the table if they lose this match.
There is also pressure on individual players to perform before the Champions trophy squad is picked. Chief among this list would be Aaron Finch. The stand-in Aussie skipper has gone from being one of the top-ranked players in the game to struggling for his place in the side.
He had an excellent BBL though and we think he will perform well in this match. He would be our top run scorer pick from the Australian side.
Following Finch will be Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell and Sam Heazlett as the probable batting lineup for this match. None of them scored any significant runs in the first match and showed no application to buckle down and score the tough runs.
Maxwell looked in imperious touch before getting out and he would be a player to watch out for in this match as well.
There is also a good chance that one of Faulkner or Cummins might make way for Adam Zampa on this slow surface. Personally, we would like to see Faulkner play because his cutters could be more effective but Cummins could as easily get the nod because of his express pace.
In Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood Australia has the making of a legendary bowling partnership. They will always be a threat to any opposition under any circumstances.
Then there is Marcus Stoinis. Is there any way to improve upon the performance he gave in the first match? Possibly not. He will be full of confidence as the highest wicket taker, highest run scorer, top six-hitter and man of the match from the last match!
We are still not too convinced about his bowling, although, his batting seems to have improved a lot in the last couple of seasons.
Australia may have a lot of trouble going into this match but they can never be counted out in a crunch game. Back them to win this match and retain their number one ranking.
Winner: Australia, 1.74 @ Bet on Australia now