High-flying New Zealand eye rare win Down Under against wounded Australia
New Zealand will be hoping to finally secure a rare series win against their neighbours Australia on their home soil in the upcoming Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
The three-match ODI series will begin in Sydney where the first game will be played on March 13.
The visitors are coming in the series full of confidence after securing back-to-back whitewash triumphs against strong Indian in the recently concluded ODI and Test series.
That achievement was an even more special one considering the fact that the Black Caps suffered a whitewash themselves in the first-ever five-match T20I series leading up to the ODIs and Test formats.
Therefore, Kane Williamson and his men will be hoping to continue their impressive run of form and secure a rare series win against the Kangaroos on their backyard.
In the batting department, the Black Caps will be relying on the likes of captain Williamson, veteran middle-order batsman Ross Taylor and explosive opener Martin Guptill to score the bulk of the runs whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of left-arm pacer Trent Boult, right-arm fast bowler Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry to destroy the opposition’s batting lineup with sheer pace and accuracy.
On the other hand, Australia are coming in the match low-on-confidence after suffering a rare whitewash in their last 50-over assignment against South Africa.
The defeat was hard to take for Australia because the South Africa are going through a rebuilding phase under new captain Quinton de Kock.
Therefore, Aaron Finch-led unit will be eager to turn things around and get back to winnings ways in the series against the Black Caps on their home turf.
In the batting department, the home team will be relying on the likes of captain Finch, veteran right-hander Steve Smith, explosive opener David Warner and in-form Marnus Labuschagne to score the bulk of the runs.
However, the player who will be under focus is D’Arcy Short who has been finally given a chance to cement his spot in the starting XI after a series of impressive performances in domestic cricket.
On the bowling front, the onus will be on the pace attack comprises of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson to produce timely breakthroughs.
Both teams have met in 137 matches in the 50-over format where the Kangaroos have a far superior record with 91 wins compared to just 39 victories of the Black Caps.
However, in the last 10 meetings, the competition has been far more closely fought compared to overall record with Australia having a slight edge after winning six matches compared to New Zealand’s four victories.
In the overall contests, former opening batsman Mathew Hayden has the highest individual score of 181 not out which he registered in 2007 at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Best individual bowling figures of 6-23 in these contests was registered by former New Zealand’s legendary pacer Shane Bond which he achieved during the 2003 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup encounter at the St George’s Park in P