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HomeAuckland5th T20I Preview: New Zealand v Australia - Preview of the Final?

5th T20I Preview: New Zealand v Australia – Preview of the Final?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Home advantage has already worked wonders for New Zealand, with the opportunity now to achieve two big things:

  • With a win today, New Zealand will confirm their passage through to the final v Australia.
  • Victory over Australia can create a psychological advantage ahead of what will be a New Zealand v Australia final next week. This is chance for the Black Caps to get one over their rivals, and unlike the 2015 ODI World Cup, the Final of this competition will be played on the same ground as today’s game.
Against England, Martin Guptill’s and Kane Williamson’s performances were especially pleasing, setting New Zealand up for a large score. Debutants Mark Chapman and Tim Seifert hit the ball long, and New Zealand’s bowling (NOT fielding) effort was impressive, led by Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner, and then finished by Trent Boult.
For Australia, their fate has been known for a good while now, but the change of setting presents a unique challenge for them. On one hand, a win will mean their oldest foe England still has a chance of progressing, but a defeat, especially a big one, can give New Zealand a real psychological edge heading into the final.

Key to a New Zealand win

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New Zealand’s batting set things up for them in Wellington, but if they field and catch as poorly as they did against England, Australia can make them pay big time.
The key for New Zealand on a small Auckland ground is to contain Australia’s batsmen as best they can. This starts at the top in the powerplay – early wickets can push Australia back, and a quiet few overs in a T20I on a small ground can be huge in the context of the game. 
Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee will again have key roles to play, and the Black Caps will also be wanting more from Ish Sodhi. Certainly, the battle between New Zealand’s bowlers and Australia’s powerful batting line up will shape the game.

Key to an Australia win

Similarly, how will Australia’s bowlers adjust to the small Auckland field? This represents a big challenge for the visitors. Their last game was at the MCG, and now they move to Auckland, which is about half the ground size, so how well will they go in adjusting?
Bowling tactics may need to be adjusted – i.e. force New Zealand to hit the ball square, with the straight boundaries really short. New Zealand enjoy playing on short boundaries at home, so Australia winning this Tri-Nation tournament is certainly not a given, but a good, polished performance with the ball today can go a long way to putting New Zealand in a sudden death encounter against England in a few days.
The early removal of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Kane Williamson will be huge, allowing Australia to get right into New Zealand’s relatively inexperienced middle order. Also, David Warner desperately needs runs, and Australia will be hoping he hits form in New Zealand
Can Warner hit form?

Predicted teams

For New Zealand, expect no changes from the team that got the all important win against England a few days ago. I did mention that Kane Williamson should open so New Zealand could get the absolute best out of him, but his Man-of-the-Match innings of 72 (46) at number three was absolutely superb. He, Guptill and Munro, and also the hitting of Colin de Grandhomme, will be key.
New Zealand XI: 1. Martin Guptill, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Mark Chapman, 5. Ross Taylor, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Tim Seifert (wk), 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Ish Sodhi, 11. Trent Boult
For Australia, they can’t rest on their laurels. Three convincing wins out of three games has been excellent, but this is a different environment. The team they intend to play in the final must play here to give each player the chance to get used to the different conditions. Australia will want David Warner to hit some form and Glenn Maxwell and co. to continue their good form. Marcus Stoinis will have good memories of Auckland, with that magnificent 146* nearly seeing Australia home from an impossible position in last year’s ODI.
Australia XI: 1. David Warner (c), 2. D’Arcy Short, 3. Chris Lynn, 4. Glenn Maxwell, 5. Aaron Finch, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Ashton Agar, 9. Andrew Tye, 10. Kane Richardson, 11. Billy Stanlake

Stats & Facts:

  • David Warner’s scores this series: 4, 6, 2. However, I think David Warner will enjoy the smaller ground, and believe he will get a score of 35+ today.
  • Australia have won their last four T20Is (excluding the no result vs India last year).
  • New Zealand have beaten Australia in the last three meetings at Auckland (3 ODIs).
  • Only six members of Australia’s squad have played at Eden Park.
  • New Zealand’s record at Auckland in T20Is: five wins, seven losses.

Prediction:

Really difficult to pick this one, with two sides that are capable of beating the other on their day.
I think New Zealand at home are a tough proposition and Australia might need some more time to adjust to these conditions. I will predict a New Zealand win, but it won’t be without a fight.
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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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