In a scenario where the ICC has been increasingly vigilant to contextualize One-Day International cricket and Tests through Super League and World Test Championship, the T20 Internationals have assumed greater importance without dedicated efforts. And the five-match series between Australia and New Zealand, which goes underway from the 22nd February 2021 at Christchurch, has a clear definition: a buildup of sorts for the two sides for the approaching ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
“We’ll use this as a way to gather a lot of info leading up to that T20 World Cup, which means there might be a little bit of shuffling”, stated the Australian skipper Aaron Finch before the start of the series. Coming on the back of a forgettable Big Bash League – tallying a paltry 179 runs at 13.76 in 13 innings – Finch has left plenty to be desired. Although, a fair bit of T20 cricket from courtesy of the BBL, in the veins of those who make the majority of Australia’s squad for the series is a certain reason for the visitors to smile.
For all the promise shown by the likes Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith Tanveer Sangha, and Josh Philippe through their recent exploits, the series is an opportune chance for Australia to test their fringe players, whose fate of World Cup participation will be subjected to their upcoming performance.
Ranked at number 6 in the ICC rankings, New Zealand has had successful home assignments against West Indies and Pakistan, and a fair bit of T20 training in the form of Super Smash will come in handy for them too. Their T20I look has not undergone any substantial renovation, but the evolution of Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, and Tim Seifert running parallel to Ross Taylor’s exit from contention and Martin Guptill’s struggle despite repeated trials, has freshened up things a tad bit.
Going into the World Cup, New Zealand needs to fix a few roles, find a few answers. Although, the absence of Colin de Grandhomme and Lockie Ferguson, who are unfit, means they will not have all of that very soon. Does that mean New Zealand is depleted? Certainly not in the able presence of Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Southee.
Pitch and conditions
The sample size to predict or conclude anything at the Hagley Oval is extremely limited: this is the only second T20I fixture at the venue and the first under lights. Although, if the domestic records are anything to go by, the 15-12 ratio of wins in favor of the chasers is slightly suggestive that defending totals is not the most ideal choice. There is no trouble expected from the skies.
Playing combinations for NZ vs AUS
A stress fracture of the back has ruled Lockie Ferguson out of the contention. Therefore, the new IPL millionaire Kyle Jamieson can be expected to partner Trent Boult and Tim Southee with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi as the spinners.
In de Grandhomme’s absence, James Neesham will be the answer for New Zealand’s all-rounder. New Zealand has a settled batting order in Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, and Tim Siefert, although Martin Guptill’s lean form will be a concern.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Jimmy Neesham, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Aaron Finch has shown belief in Josh Philippe and he will on his opening duties alongside the youngster. With slight murmurs around Glenn Maxwell’s form, the series is a chance for him to get back into his colors and prove the whopping IPL expenditures sensible.
Finch, who has had a torrid time himself, will have no different agenda than Maxwell. The number 6 will be a toss up between Ashton Turner and Mitchell Marsh, whereas the Jhye and Kane Richardson will be the pacers alongside Jason Behrendorff.
Predicted XI: Aaron Finch (C), Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh/Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff
NZ vs AUS Head to Head
Played – 10 | Australia – 7 | New Zealand – 1 | Tied – 1
NZ vs AUS Broadcast Details
Match Timings- 11:30 AM (IST)
Live Streaming– Fancode
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Best combined XI from World Test Championship 2019-2021
- New Zealand vs Australia: James Neesham gifts jersey with hilarious message to Glenn Maxwell
- New Zealand vs Australia, 2021: Fifth T20I – Milestones for Martin Guptill, Tim Southee’s feat, Kane Williamson unique ducks and more stats
- Australia vs New Zealand: Tim Southee reprimanded for showing dissent over umpire’s decision
- Twitter Reactions: Aaron Finch-inspired Australia thrash New Zealand in 4th T20I to keep series alive