The Trans-Tasman rivalry will restart as Australia will host New Zealand for a 3-match ODI series!
We are backing Australia for victory in the first ODI!
After completing their limited-overs tour to South Africa, Australia has returned home and will be hosting New Zealand for a 3-match ODI series. Australia won the T20I series there 2-1 but was thrashed 0-3 in the ODI series. However, now that they are back at home, they would be confident of going back to their winning ways.
It won't be a walk in the park, though, as New Zealand are tough opponents in limited-overs cricket. Furthermore, they successfully trounced India 3-0 in the ODI series at home recently and will be looking forward to replicating that performance. We could thus be in for a closely-fought and thrilling ODI series as the old Trans-Tasman rivalry starts again.
Australia is always very strong at home. And the two things that make them very dangerous is their top-order and their bowling unit in these conditions. In skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner, they have two of the most destructive openers in white-ball cricket today who can easily smash any attack into oblivion. Then there is the reliable Steven Smith whose presence in the middle-order will be of great significance.
The remaining middle and lower orders have been a little inconsistent in recent times and that is where New Zealand will target the Aussies. Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey's role down the order as finishers will be crucial.
Australia's bowling has great skill and variety. Their three main seam bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood - will be quite a handful in these conditions. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa too will relish the bounce of Sydney. Kane Richardson might be preferred over Hazlewood as he has been better in limited-overs cricket.
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, D’Arcy Short, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood/ Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Alex Carey, Steven Smith, D'Arcy Short, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood
New Zealand has a fairly settled ODI outfit. They did so well against India recently and have most players in good form. Captain Kane Williamson will, of course, be leading from the front and will remain the pillar of the team's batting unit. Opener Martin Guptill was in great touch in the ODIs against India and can be someone who will make an impact at the top along with Tom Blundell. The experience of Ross Taylor in the middle is a big boon to the team followed by Tom Latham. And all-rounder Jimmy Neesham or Colin de Grandhomme will play the perfect finisher down the order. The Kiwis thus have a very solid batting unit that won't cave in easily.
Their bowling too has proven to be useful. In Trent Boult, Tim Southee and the young Kyle Jamieson, New Zealand found the perfect and dangerous seam-bowling trio recently. Now that fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has returned, they will have greater depth in their bowling. They will love the bounce of the Sydney pitch and may well ruffle the Australian batsmen. Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner's role will be key as he can tie down the batsmen in the middle stages.
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme/ Jimmy Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, KS Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, James Neesham
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||27||0 mm.||2.72 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|03h||30||0 mm.||1.93 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|06h||27||0 mm.||5 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|09h||21||0 mm.||2.82 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|12h||19||0 mm.||3.02 k/h||From: N||3%|
|15h||17||0 mm.||1.92 k/h||From: NNW||20%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||3.01 k/h||From: S||33%|
|21h||18||0.31 mm.||7.72 k/h||From: S||95%|
The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground is known to be a wonderful limited-overs surface, having something for both the batsmen and the bowlers. Batsmen will enjoy things early on when the surface is hard. However, seam bowlers will also get movement and bounce off the pitch. Even spinners have had a good time here. The weather in Sydney for the day of the game is expected to be mostly sunny and clear.
The average score batting first at the Sydney Cricket Ground is 222. However, the highest total achieved on the venue is a massive 408-5 by South Africa against the West Indies in 2015. In fact, totals of 300-plus have been achieved here on as many as 19 occasions. For the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand, the team batting first will be looking to score around 280-300 to be safe.
The team winning the toss will look to bat first. Since this is the first match of the series, batting first and putting on a good total will be the best way to take the lead.
Australia and New Zealand have enjoyed a healthy rivalry over the decades. In the last 5 completed ODIs between these two sides, Australia has won 3, while New Zealand has won 2. For this match and series, Australia will certainly have the edge as they are the home side. They truly are very strong at home and it will take a great performance from the Kiwis to stop them.
That being said, this is a full-strength New Zealand squad that is in rich form and is looking really good. Australia hasn't done well in ODIs recently and was even beaten by India earlier in the year. It will thus not be easy for Australia and we could have quite a close contest. However, for the home advantage, the strength of their top order and their sharp bowling would make the Aussies favorites.
We are backing Australia for victory in the first ODI!