|Finished.106/10 (18.5) - 156/6 (20)
They say you can’t keep a good man down, and I think that saying extends to teams as well. Australia may have been 2-0 down, but they have come back into the series with a resounding victory. They’re certainly not in a position to celebrate, but they will definitely be happy to have gotten a win in the bag as well as a fighting chance and a distant glimpse of a reverse sweep. New Zealand on the other hand will have their mettle tested - and tested hard. The team that has always dominated them is a sleeping giant - one that doesn’t take kindly to being picked on during its slumber. However, the Kiwis are no pushovers anymore, and definitely have the firepower to be equal to the task and then some. Before these two sides battle it out, let’s take a look at how they’re doing.
Predicted XI vs Australia
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi.
Preview and form
One little change to the team can often mean the difference between victory and defeat, and opting to leave out Mitchell Santner was perhaps that mistake for the Black Caps. Bowling first, only Ish Sodhi had anything resembling a decent bowling performance, as every other bowler conceded 9 or more runs per over, and James Neesham was massacred at 15. With a gigantic 208 to chase, New Zealand needed a strong, flowing partnership but never quite got one. Martin Guptill’s 43 and Devon Conway’s 38 were the only two respectable scores in a thoroughly subpar performance, and at 17.1 overs they found themselves bowled out 64 runs short.
New Zealand key players vs Australia
Kane Williamson: If there’s a player who can unquestionably seal the series for New Zealand in the very next match, it’s Williamson.
Martin Guptill: Guptill seems to be in solid form, and that’s something the Kiwis can really use.
Mitchell Santner: Santner was rested for a match, but will no doubt be back and be an important cog in the Kiwi machine.
Ish Sodhi: On this spin-friendly pitch, the more quality spinners, the merrier.
Predicted XI vs New Zealand
Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade, Josh Philippe (wk), Riley Meredith, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar.
Preview and form
The T20 format is one where even one good performance can bring about a win. When there are a couple of good, two great, and one phenomenal performance, it’s almost overkill. Batting first, Aaron Finch finally fulfilled his role as the captain for a nice 69 off 44, and with Josh Philippe’s 27-ball 43 and Glenn Maxwell’s ballistic 31-ball 70, Australia were able to post a skyscraping 208. In the second innings, Riley Meredith had a great debut with 2-24, including the all-important wicket of Williamson, but if it was anyone’s day it was Ashton Agar’s as the experienced spinner bulldozed the Kiwis for an amazing 6 wickets. Before long, the Kiwis were done for to give the visitors a sizable victory.
Australia key players vs New Zealand
Josh Philippe: Philippe has had two good performances, but nothing like the kind of innings he plays in the BBL - yet.
Glenn Maxwell: Maxwell finally looks like he has found his groove, and not a moment too soon.
Ashton Agar: It would take a fool to not keep Agar in this list after the last match.
Adam Zampa: Like Agar, Zampa will enjoy the spin-friendly wonders of this ground.
New Zealand vs Australia pitch report and weather conditions
The drop-in pitch at the Westpac Stadium seems to favour spinners more than fast bowlers, and although it’s a great pitch for batting as well, batsmen will be more wary of that now. Expect first innings scores of 170+ to be strong.
Although Friday will be a cool cloudy day with no rain expected, the biggest issue will be the ridiculous 45km/h winds, which will play quite a role in deciding where high shots land.
Can the Kiwis put an end to Aussie hopes to bring about what could be a watershed moment for the cricketing history between the two sides? Or will the Aussies get one step closer to a reverse sweep that would see them continue their domination? Find out if our New Zealand versus Australia predictions come true on Friday!
|NZ Top Batsman:
|AUS Top Batsman:
|NZ Top Bowler (Wickets):
|AUS Top Bowler (Wickets):
|Players to score a fifty:
|M Guptill/K Williamson (NZ), J Philippe/G Maxwell (AUS)