The threat of Coronavirus is looming large over the sporting events, but for now the Australia vs New Zealand series is on. And, what more – this is the return of the Chappell – Hadlee series after a gap of three years. The Trans-Tasman neighbours will sport retro kits as well, to commemorate the occasion. The first of the three ODIs will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Both teams bring contrasting form to this series. Australia were whitewashed 3-0 in South Africa which was a surprise from the young Proteas. New Zealand had their own 3-0 result, but in favour. They whitewashed India at home, which was once again a surprising result. Regardless of those results, both teams will be looking to get one over their neighbours.
Australia are on a five-match losing streak, which is a cause for concern. Aaron Finch and his men have found the going tough and need to iron out the issues. However, coach Justin Langer feels that his side can finish the home season unbeaten after doing so in the T20Is and the Tests earlier.
Finch will remain crucial for Australia’s chances, along with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. There is still a lot of debate around D’Arcy Short as a middle-order batting all-rounder. However, the returning Mitchell Starc should leave no questions around his selection.
New Zealand Preview
New Zealand are here after a balanced performance against India. Their top-five is more or less settled, led by Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. However, it is the supremely consistent Ross Taylor who makes a strong case for selection.
The returning Trent Boult is another name that should feature in discussions. So should be Lockie Ferguson, considering his prowess with the new and old ball to go with his pace. The presence of all-rounders James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme is a huge positive for your selection.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Marnus Labuschagne has celebrated his ODI selection with a 100 in his latest match. The consistent top-order bat should give you a lot of runs.
Colin de Grandhomme is not your usual all-rounder, but is solid in his own way. Expect him to keep churning out tight performances and be a good pick.
Mitchell Starc has enjoyed playing New Zealand with 23 wickets in just nine matches. The left-arm seamer should slot into his wicket-taking role straight away.
Australia: 1 David Warner 2 Aaron Finch (C) 3 Steve Smith 4 Marnus Labuschagne 5 Mitchell Marsh 6 D’Arcy Short 7 Alex Carey (WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Josh Hazlewood 11 Adam Zampa
New Zealand: 1 Martin Guptill 2 Henry Nicholls 3 Kane Williamson (C) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Tom Latham (WK) 6 James Neesham 7 Colin de Grandhomme 8 Mitchell Santner 9 Tim Southee 10 Lockie Ferguson 11 Trent Boult
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