Pad up with ODI cricket tips as a weary Australian side in dusty form hosts a hungry New Zealand outfit in a Sydney series opener.
14:30 (AEDT), Fri 13th Mar @ Sydney Cricket Ground
History: Played 137: Australia 91 V New Zealand 39 (7 No Results)
Last meeting: June 29, 2019: Australia d New Zealand by 86 runs at Lord’s
Final Thoughts: Smarting from a heavy ODI series defeat abroad, Australia are thrust into another one-day rubber back at home on a short turnaround against old foes New Zealand.
The Aussies were thoroughly outplayed in a 3-0 whitewash in South Africa. The Proteas won by 74 runs, six wickets and six wickets.
A series-opening 76 from Steve Smith and a maiden ton from Marnus Labuschagne in game three were the individual highlights of a disappointing campaign. Australia’s middle order was again found wanting.
New Zealand are coming off a confidence-boosting few weeks at home against India. After a 5-0 T20I series loss, the Black Caps swept India in the ODIs (3-0) and Tests (2-0).
Ross Taylor was the standout with scores of 109* and 73* in the first two ODIs. Openers Henry Nicholls (78, 41 and 80) and Martin Guptill (32, 79 and 66).
There will still be scars from their Test series obliteration in Australia only a couple of months ago. But the 2015 and ’19 World Cup runners-up are a much tougher proposition in the ODI format.
Kiwis confront lean run across the ditch
New Zealand are the current holders of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, winning the last series in the Shaky Isles in early-2017. But Australia won the ODI series on home soil earlier that summer 3-0.
In the teams’ only completed one-dayer in the past three years, Australia romped to an 86-run win at the 2019 World Cup. Usman Khawaja (88) and Alex Carey (71) led Australia to 9/243 after Trent Boult took four wickets. But NZ’s batting line-up failed miserably, Kane Williamson (40) top-scoring as they were bowled out for 157. Mitchell Starc (5/26) ripped through the middle- and lower-order.
The Black Caps have also lost six straight ODIs in Australia.
Australia have won 10 of their last 15 completed ODIs at the SCG. New Zealand are on a four-match ODI losing streak against Australia at the venue and have a 6-15 all-time trans-Tasman record in Sydney in this format.
But the Aussies are ripe for the picking after a confidence-denting South African trip and less than a week since their last game. Plenty rides of Guptill, Taylor, Williamson and Boult producing their best, but a fresh New Zealand are tremendous value.