Australia and New Zealand resume their rivalry with the first Chappell-Hadlee ODI series, which gets underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground. New Zealand go into the series on a high, having completed a 3-0 whitewash over India at home. Australia on the other hand were on the receiving end of a 3-0 whitewash against South Africa.
(Last 5 ODIs)
Australia - Won 0 | Lost 5
New Zealand - Won 4 | Tie 1 (World Cup final)
GROUND DETAILS AND TEAM COMBINATION
The Sydney Cricket Ground has hosted just a couple of ODIs since January 2018. The average score batting first at this venue is 295 and the team batting first have gone on to win on both occasions. So, having top-order batsmen and hard-hitters in your side should be an absolute necessity.
The pacers are likely to have a huge say in the match. Since 2018, pacers have picked up 76.9% of the wickets. They pick up a wicket every 38.5 deliveries at a bowling average of 35. The spinners on the other hand, have picked up just six out of the 26 wickets in the last two years and have done so at a bowling strike-rate of 71.7, average of 67.7.
Hence it would be ideal to stock your team with fast bowlers, including a fast bowling all-rounder with the likes of James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme or even Mitchell Marsh up for grabs.
Out of the 20 wickets picked by pacers, 18 have gone to right-arm seamers. At an average, they have picked up 4.5 wickets per innings. There are plenty of options from both sides that you can include in your team, however, it might not be a wise decision to leave out left-arm seamers of the calibre of Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult as well. The leg-spinners too have not done all that badly, having picked up a wicket every 38 deliveries at an average of 35.3, which brings Adam Zampa and Ish Sodhi into play.
Since his return to international cricket in 2019, David Warner has been in excellent form in all formats, more so in limited-overs. In ODIs, he has scored 857 runs at 61.21 at a strike-rate of 93.76, which includes four fifties and three centuries from 16 innings. His overall record against New Zealand too is quite impressive, having scored 547 runs against them at 45.58 and strike-rate in excess of 100. Since scoring an unbeaten 128 against India in January 2020, Warner has registered scores of 15, 3, 25, 25 and 4. While those numbers are not encouraging, we could expect the Aussie opener to return to form on home soil.
Pat Cummins’ strength has been bowling accurate lines and lengths, which has paid dividends over the years. Since 2019, he has picked up 37 wickets in ODIs at 25.27, along with a strike-rate of 30.5. He has done so at an impressive economy rate of 4.96. Only Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell and Trent Boult have picked up more wickets in ODIs in this period. Cummins will once again be a crucial cog in the Australian bowling attack.
Ross Taylor has been one of New Zealand’s most reliable batsmen in recent times. Often overshadowed by the calm and ease at which Kane Williamson scores his runs, Taylor has proved to the rock of New Zealand’s middle-order. Since 2019, he has accumulated 1137 runs at 63.16 and a strike-rate of 89.81 to go with it. His knocks also include two centuries and eight fifties. Taylor will have to bring all his experience into play to negate this top-class Australian bowling attack.
Trent Boult missed the ODI series at home against India due to an injury, but bounced back well in the Tests in which he managed 11 wickets from two matches. He has been a consistent performer in the ODIs as well, having picked up 38 wickets at 23.97, picking a wicket once every 30.5 deliveries since 2019. His economy rate if 4.70 too is commendable. There was a bit of reverse swing on offer in the previous match at SCG and Boult could use it to his advantage if the situation arises.