AUS v NZ 1st ODI Preview: Black Caps seek Test drubbing redemption against Aussie pace battery
The format is different, a few personnel may be different but the 3-0 embarrassment just a couple of months ago would certainly have some scarred players in the New Zealand camp.
Venue - Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Starts on/at - March 13, Friday, 03:30 AM GMT | 02:30 PM LOCAL
Head to Head record in ODIs - New Zealand: 39 Australia: 91 No result: 7
Weather - Mostly Sunny, 24°C, Precipitation: 10%, Humidity: 62%, Wind: 23 km/h
Australia have the mental edge
Be it a particular opposition or a particular venue, there is that natural sense of confidence at a place or against the team you have performed well, which goes the other way round as well. The effect of this will be evident in both the teams despite the colour of the clothing and the colour of the ball being different.
The Kiwi batters were found out against the pace and bounce of the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the Test series and the two will continue to test them with the same tactics, at least early on in the series.
With the fixture being criticized from some quarters for its scheduling, Australia are likely to continue with Mitchell Marsh and Darcy Short in the middle order.
The Maxwell-sized hole
Australia are really missing flamboyant all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The batsman took a mental health sabbatical in October 2019 from international cricket and is yet to play the game at the highest level since then.
He suffered an elbow injury during the Big Bash League and had to undergo surgery. Therefore, Maxwell will not be available for this series. It was evident in Australia's series against South Africa and India that they were missing a spark in the middle order. Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne are extremely good players but the two are too similar to come in at number 3 and number 4 as it kills the momentum of the innings.
The team does not have enough experience or flair to finish the inning whether while batting first or chasing. They are currently banking on all-rounders Mitchel Marsh and Darcy Short who might take some time to blossom into that role. Smashing a quick-fire 40 off 20 deliveries or creating a fear-factor in the mind of the opposition is something Australia will continue to miss.
Contrasting returns of late
It is interesting and borderline funny how contrasting the fortunes of the two teams have been in their last white-ball assignments. New Zealand suffered a 5-0 pasting at the hands of India but came back strongly to clean sweep the ODI series 3-0. Australia after beating South Africa 2-1 in the T20Is looked out of sorts in the ODI games and suffered a clean sweep.
Marnus Labuschagne was the top scorer for Australia in their last ODI, scoring a century in the final game. Darcy Short and Steven Smith also scored more than 100 runs in series. Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa were the most successful bowlers.
For New Zealand, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor Martin Guptill and Tom Latham put the runs on the board against India in ODIs, nicely sharing the load. Hamish Bennett, who was their top wicket-taker, has been dropped. Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult will form the pace bowling trio for the visitors.
Both teams banking on all-rounders
Australia are likely to continue with Mitchell Marsh and Darcy Short in the middle order. They would expect more runs from wicketkeeper and vice captain Alex Carey, who has probably been batting a couple of notches below from what is ideal. Kane Richardson will play as Australia's third seamer with Adam Zampa being the only spinner.
New Zealand are looking pretty settled at the moment. The inclusion of Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry has further bolstered their squad. Kyle Jamieson, who set the stage ablaze on debut, will have to sit out with the return of the senior pros. Jimmy Neesham is unlikely to make the cut with Colin de Grandhomme set to play as the only seam bowling all-rounder.
Here's a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
Australia - Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, D Arcy Short, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
This is where you can catch all the live action across the globe:
Australia: Fox Sports
New Zealand: SKY Sport NZ
India & Subcontinent: Sony Network
UK: Sky Sports Cricket
Canada: ATN Cricket Plus (Asian Television Network), CBN
USA: Willow TV, Hotstar
Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD
Middle East and North Africa (MENA): OSN Sports Cricket HD
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