|Finished.184/5 (20) - 131/10 (17.3)
It might be the battle between numbers 2 and 6 as per the ICC T20 rankings, but make no mistake - New Zealand will be keen on bettering their stats. New Zealand’s recent results have been fantastic, they have a solid squad, and they are usually good at home, but they lost their last two T20 series at home that was against a team in the top 4 of the ICC rankings. Meanwhile, the Australian team is full of BBL superstars who are still warm from the extended campaign they underwent, but a little green in terms of international experience. Add to that the fact that the conditions in New Zealand aren’t alien to their neighbours, and things look much brighter for the young squad. Before this classic rivalry is reignited in the most explosive format in cricket, let’s take a look at the two teams.
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips (wk), Mark Chapman, Tim Seifert (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Finn Allen.
Predicted XI for first T20
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Hamish Bennett, Mark Chapman.
Preview and form
There’s plenty of skill and especially experience in the Kiwi lineup. As we mentioned before, they’ve been doing well in every format as of late, and would love the opportunity to thump their old nemesis, who have been much less than their usual dominating selves recently. The Black Caps are led by arguably the most complete batsman in the world at the moment, Kane Williamson. He is joined by Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, and all-rounder Mitchell Santner. Apart from Santner’s spin, the lethal pace battery of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Hamish Bennett, and Kyle Jamieson will be causing trouble for Aussie batsmen.
Kane Williamson: Do you even watch cricket?
Glenn Phillips: He might have been facing a bit of a dip in form in domestic matches, but he was brilliant when Pakistan visited.
Kyle Jamieson: It’s pretty much eenie-meenie-miney-moe when it comes to deciding which of New Zealand’s prolific fast bowlers will play well in any given match.
Tim Southee:Probably the most consistent pacer in the current Kiwi lineup.
Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Josh Philippe (wk), Ben McDermott (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Riley Meredith
Predicted XI for first T20
Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade, Josh Philippe (wk), Ben McDermott, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Daniel Sams, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff.
Preview and form
It is as though Cricket Australia decided to make a ‘best of’ team from this year’s BBL, give or take. Although notable omissions such as Marnus Labuschagne and Chris Lynn might raise a few eyebrows, the Aussies have boatloads of talent on board. Add to that the fact that the promise of representing their country in the upcoming T20 World Cup is very much a possibility for those who perform well in this series, and you have an eager squad of players desperate to prove themselves. From the predicted XI, Aaron Finch will be joined by Matthew Wade, Josh Philippe, Ben McDermott as far as pure batsmen go, with Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, and Daniel Sams forming a quartet of all-rounders before Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, and Adam Zampa play as bowlers.
Josh Philippe: The top-scoring Australian at BBL10, Philippe has a very bright future if he pulls off a good performance in this tournament.
Ben McDermott: Like Philippe, McDermott has been excellent with the bat domestically, and needs to prove himself internationally to become the second McDermott to become a regular fixture in the Aussie team.
Jhye Richardson: The Purple Cap holder is a promising youngster with both speed and deviation under his belt.
Adam Zampa: Zampa has a knack for picking up important wickets at exactly the right time.
Head to head
Australia have won 7 of their 9 encounters against the Kiwis, with one of those being a loss in a Super Over. However, the last time the Aussies beat a team in the top 4 of the ICC rankings in a home T20 series was way back in 2014-2015. New Zealand are similarly placed, but they have a bit of an upper hand in this regard.
New Zealand vs Australia weather conditions and pitch report
The temperature should be in the early 20s, which will be pleasant for both teams. There’s a miniscule chance for a light drizzle, but nothing worrisome. Overall, it should be a great day for cricket.
The pitch at the Hagley Oval is terrific for fast bowlers and very difficult for batsmen. There will be plenty of movement, and the Kiwis will know exactly where to aim the ball in order to get that movement. Any batsman will need a while to get the hang of the pitch - if they can even survive that long. Expect first innings scores of 150+ to be competitive.
Can New Zealand start off with a rare win against their regional rivals? Or will the Aussies’ young bloods show their skills in full? Find out if our New Zealand versus Australia predictions come true on Monday!
|NZ Top Batsman:
|Aus Top Batsman:
|NZ Top Bowler (Wickets):
|Aus Top Bowler (Wickets):
|Players to score a fifty:
|K Williamson/G Phillips (NZ), J Philippe/B McDermott (AUS)