It is the start of the Chappell-Hadlee trophy and once again the Trans-Tasman neighbours are set to enthral us as Australia and New Zealand start their three-match ODI series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.
Australia are smarting from the 3-0 whitewash they received at the hands of South Africa. That result only extended what has been a period of inconsistency. New Zealand too are coming off a 3-0 result, but one of their own against India. However, their poor record against Australia remains a stumbling mental block.
It was a forgettable series for Australia in South Africa, as their dynamic top-three flopped. Each of David Warner, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch will be itching to get back to leading the side. There is enough depth to make a comeback straightaway.
Lack of runs from the top-order has been Australia’s bane in their recent losses. Multiple players didn’t score a 50 in the last five ODIs that they went on to lose. Hopes in the home camp rest on seeing the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins fire in front of the home fans.
The Kiwis have gone to full strength for this series, welcoming back Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson after injury breaks. The impressive Kyle Jamieson will look to continue from the Indian series and overall the Kiwis look an excellent unit.
It will depend a lot on how well their batsmen rise up to the task. Kane Williamson looms as the crucial wicket, even as Ross Taylor and the rest look set to show their worth to this Kiwi set-up.
Australia will be desperate to break their losing rut, and will be happy to have been playing at the SCG. That said, unless the batsmen improve and put decent scores on the board, it is going to be a massive test of character for them. As for the Kiwis, this is their biggest chance to win the elusive Chappell-Hadlee trophy. It won’t be easy, though, considering their recent record in Australia and their barren run since 2009.
History & Statistics
- Australia have lost seven of their last eight ODIs, including the last five.
- Australia have lost eight of their last 11 home ODIs.
- Australia have won 11 of their last 13 completed ODIs at the SCG, including the last four.
- New Zealand have won 12 of their last 15 completed ODIs, excluding a tied match.
- New Zealand have lost eight of their last 11 away ODIs, excluding a tied match.
- New Zealand have lost their last six completed away H2H ODIs, since their last win in February 2009.
Mitchell Starc has 23 wickets against New Zealand from just nine ODIs, including 2+ wickets in six of those.
Ross Taylor doesn’t usually get the appreciation that he deserves, but he remains key for NZ’s chances this series. He has 1,003 runs against Australia in 29 ODIs with 2×100 and 6×50.