Australia underwent a heavy defeat against New Zealand in the series opener at the Hagley Oval, thanks to some serious bludgeoning by Devon Conway, who continued his purple patch, slamming unbeaten 99 from 54 before the bowlers broke Australia’s back within the start of their chase, eventually bundling them inside 18 overs to claim the victory.
Australia’s returns have been fluctuating in T20I cricket, of late: they lost the away series of England 1-2, followed by their latest 1-2 loss at home against India. However, bouncing back for them is not an impossible proposition, this being a five-match series, which is quite a rarity in the modern-day. Even though there is no specific cause that can be attributed to their pale performances, Australia certainly has some glaring issues that need some countering.
Aaron Finch’s poor form is only one to be named. Coming on the back of an utterly cold Big Bash League, all that Finch managed at Hagley Oval was a solitary run off 2 balls before he perished to Tim Southee. Then, they severely missed a batsman who could have repeated what Devon Conway did for New Zealand after the early jitters.
After the game, Jhye Richardson admitted about the bowlers missing their lengths towards the end and failing to execute the plans the way they would have liked. New Zealand were teetering at 19 for 3 and before Conway began his assault, and the game seemed well within Australia’s grasp, only to be slipped out eventually. More than anything else, they would want these two things to change going into the second T20I.
From New Zealand’s perspective, there is not much that will keep them worried, bar Martin Guptill, whose struggle, much like Finch, has been real and painful: he scored 185 runs at 18.50 in 11 T20Is in the previous year, with the highest score of 34. At Hagley Oval on Monday, Guptill fell for a three-ball duck, adding another miserable outing to his pool of forgettable shows.
Although, in a youthful and talented middle-order boasting of Devon Conway and Glenn Philips, New Zealand need not worry about where the winning contributions will be coming from. The shortest format of the game is not known to give much time for contemplation. With ample of it coming towards both the sides in near future, each fixture of this series is an opportunity to find the missing links quickly. For now, the visitors seem to be in for some task here.
Pitch and conditions
The University Oval, Dunedin will be making its T20 International debut as a venue, which means there are no statistical conclusions to be drawn. Although to take a hint of those from the Super Smash and domestic encounters, the venue has a healthy first innings average of 166, with a 5-10 record of victories in the favor of the chasing side.
Playing combinations for NZ vs AUS
After a perfect start to the series, there is no reason why New Zealand would want to meddle with their playing combination. Keeping aside any last-moment injuries, expect them to play the same eleven that assisted them in taking a 1-0 lead.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
By skipper Aaron Finch’s admission, their unit for the T20I World Cup will be different than their current setup. While the series is certainly the best chance for them to check out the fringe players, too many changes after a single chance are unlikely.
Predicted XI: Aaron Finch (C), Matthew Wade (WK), Josh Philippe, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
NZ vs AUS Head to Head
Played – 11 | Australia – 7 | New Zealand – 2 | Tied – 1
NZ vs AUS Broadcast Details
Match Timings- 6:30 AM (IST)
Live Streaming– Fancode
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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