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1st T20I Preview: Can Australia improve their limited overs game?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

It is T20 galore in Australia at the moment, with the 1st T20I of the tri-series sandwiched on the day between the Big Bash semi final and final.

As a result, the focus of the Australian public may be more on the Big Bash Final rather than the opening T20I of the tri-series between Australia and New Zealand, which also includes England. However, this promises to be an exciting clash as Australia are looking to pick up their form in limited overs, and New Zealand, despite their recent series loss to Pakistan, remain a very strong T20I side (as their no.2 ranking suggests).

Key to an Australia win

I’m really liking the look of the Australian team. Filled with excellent performers from the Big Bash, 
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Australia, like they should have probably done in the ODIs, have a more fresh, exciting looking squad. Even with Aaron Finch and Steve Steve missing, Australia possess a strong team on paper.
D’Arcy Short should win the player of the BBL07 prize for his outstanding season, and if David Warner can get going, Australia could be off to an absolute flyer. Alex Carey has also had a magnificent season, and in conjunction with Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis, Australia now have a nucleus in which they can build on from now till the T20 World Cup at home in 2020.
The key for Australia will be their powerful batting line up to make their mark.

Key to a New Zealand win

New Zealand also possess firepower of their own. Colin Munro, if fit, will be one to watch tonight – he has scored three T20I hundreds in the last 13 months, and Martin Guptill, after going unsold in the IPL Auction, will be itching to prove a point. Also, Colin de Grandhomme has proven himself to be a strong hitter.
However, on paper, Australia’s batting looks to be more powerful, which puts the onus on New Zealand’s bowlers to help set up a win. New Zealand’s spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi rank one and three respectively in the T20I bowler rankings, and can help put the squeeze on Australia’s batsmen. Also, if Trent Boult and Tim Southee can get the ball swinging early, Australia’s powerful batting line up might not have it all their own way.
Certainly, New Zealand have the bowling attack to cause Australia headaches, and they need to deliver.

Predicted teams

As mentioned, I’m really liking to the look of the Australia team. Travis Head should slot in after a magnificent 85* for Adelaide Strikers on Friday night. Australia’s middle order looks very strong, and I’m looking forward to see how Billy Stanlake (who will offer more than Zampa) and Andrew Tye go. I believe they should both play.
Australia XI: 1. D’Arcy Short, 2. David Warner (c), 3. Travis Head, 4. Chris Lynn, 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Ashton Agar, 9. Andrew Tye, 10. Kane Richardson, 11. Billy Stanlake
For New Zealand, their main strength is their bowling in my opinion, and their spinners can keep Australia’s batting quiet. Also, they’ll be hoping Munro is fit after missing the 3rd T20I v Pakistan last week with a hamstring complaint.
New Zealand XI: 1. Martin Guptill, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Raylor, 5. Colin de Grandhomme, 6. Anaru Kitchen, 7. Tom Blundell (wk), 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Ish Sodhi, 11. Trent Boult

Stats and Facts:

  • Last T20I game at the SCG: India chased down 198 v Australia in 2016.
  • New Zealand’s spinners occupy two of the top three T20I bowling ranking spots. Mitchell Santner is no.1 and Ish Sodhi no.3.
  • New Zealand have only beaten Australia once in T20Is (at the 2016 World T20).
  • Colin Munro needs three runs to reach 1,000 T20I runs. He is the only player to have three T20I hundreds.

Prediction:

It is a bit of a shame that this T20I will be played on a very busy T20 weekend in Australia, as it promises to be a really good game.
I think Australia, with their strong home record over New Zealand in all formats, have enough batting firepower to get them over the line. However, New Zealand won’t be an easy beat, and this could be a really tight game.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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