New Zealand will hope for more than its top three, but the midfield, led by Devon Conway, offers considerable depth
Australia will have to recover quickly in the second match of the series played outside the park at the Hagley Oval. It looked good at first when they were looking for three goalkeepers in powerplay, but Devon Conway’s masterful 99 lifted New Zealand to a hefty sum and then asked for four goalkeepers within the constraints of the pitch.
The fact that this schedule, which marks Dunedin’s first T20I, is a daily game, will probably mean less fluctuations in the conditions as the game is played, although, if there is a chance for momentum, Tim Southee and Trent Boult are as good as everyone in finding it.
The Australians have refused to use their two weeks of successful isolation as any excuse for an introductory performance – they managed to train at a high level during that period – but will hope that a real match has allowed them to get into speed. The advantage of this series of five games is that there is a chance to return.
Jhie Richardson’s return to international cricket was promising and Mitchell Marsh looked in decent form with a bat, but other than that it was a slim selection from Christchurch. New Zealand will hope to knock out their top three, but the shape of their middle order – led by Conway – means they have the depth and confidence to rebuild.
(last five completed matches)
New Zealand WLWWW
In the spotlight
Aaron Finch i Martin Guptill they entered this series with questionnaires over their shape and none of them survived the first of their innings. They both also fell in a very similar style, driving the catch to the point, although for Finch the placement was a bigger problem as he hit the ball cleanly. Each has strong T20I records (Finch averaging 37.06 and Guptill 31.20 with two centuries per piece), but while others would push for a chance in the top order or key players to return, a few runs would come in handy.
A swinging ball it has long been the Achilles heel of Australian strike orders, and although daily conditions in Dunedin could be a minor factor, it will be interesting to watch them fight it if there is movement. The T20 doesn’t give much time to show caution towards the bowlers, but it may take a little more caution against Southee and Bult before it catches up with the others.
Mark Chapman and Hamish Bennett were two unused team members in the first game, but if there aren’t any problems or a desire to rotate, there would seem to be no need to change.
New Zealand (probably) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Tim Seifert, 3 Kane Williamson (cap.), 4 Devon Conway, 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult
Australia went on extra-choice (Daniel Sams) on Monday and may need to consider whether to quickly value an expert – perhaps left-handed Jason Behrendorff – instead. Despite the bad changes to the display, it is unlikely to be at the beginning of the series.
Australia (probably) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Josh Philippe, 3 Matthew Wade (week), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Jhye Richardson, 9 Kane Richardson, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Jason Behrendorff
Plot and conditions
Since this is Oval University’s first T20I, there is no history that could continue, but the recent Super Smash gives a hint that it could be the best. The Central Districts scored 223, while in the second game the Northern Districts scored 191. The forecast is for a dry but fresh day.
Statistics and trivia
“Obviously the result didn’t go our way, but we did a lot of good things, especially at the start of the bowling. With our hitting I think it was one of those things, New Zealand bowled really well and had the ball moving and catching up a little bit. unprepared. “
Andrew McGlashan is Deputy Editor at ESPNcricinfo