New Zealand and Australia will face off in the third T20 International at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday (March 3). The hosts currently have a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, which consequently makes it a must-win game for the visitors.
While New Zealand have won both matches in this series so far, Australia still have the edge when it comes to past results between the two teams in T20Is – winning seven out of 11 matches, including three out of the last five.
Overall: Matches – 11 | New Zealand – 4 Wins | Australia – 7 Wins
Last 5 Matches: New Zealand – 2 Wins | Australia – 3 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
GROUND DETAILS & TEAM COMBINATION
Since 2018, the Sky Stadium (formerly Westpac Stadium) has hosted five T20I matches and the average run-rate in those games has been 8.3 which is on the lower side when you compare it with other stadiums in New Zealand. The bowling average (22.2) and strike rate (16.5) here is the best from a bowling viewpoint across all stadiums in New Zealand that have hosted T20Is since the start of 2018.
In the 10 T20I innings in the aforementioned time period at this venue, spinners have a better average (19.5 vs 23.9) and strike rate (14.9 vs 17.4) when compared to pacers. But it is the faster bowlers who have bowled a greater share of overs (65.5%) and taken a bigger percentage of wickets (62%). Hence, we have selected four pacers (including Marcus Stoinis) and two spinners in our team.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
It was Adam Zampa who dismissed Kane Williamson in the second T20I and the Australia leg-spinner has generally done well against the New Zealand captain. In T20 cricket, Williamson has scored only 27 runs from 33 deliveries against Zampa while getting dismissed twice in five innings so far.
Depending on circumstances, we could see Glenn Maxwell facing off against Tim Southee during any phase of the Australian innings. In the first T20I, Southee dismissed Maxwell while bowling early on. It was the second time in five T20 innings that Southee got the wicket of Maxwell, but the Australian batsman has a good batting strike rate (161.5) against the Blackcaps pacer in the format.
Considering the form that he has been in recently, it’s hard to look past Kane Williamson for the role of captaincy in our fantasy team. The New Zealand skipper notched up a fifty in the previous match and it was indicative of how good he has been over the past year. Since September 2020, Williamson has scored 553 runs in 17 T20 innings at an average of 55.3, including six 50+ scores.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Williamson could score 16-39 runs in this match.
While Marcus Stoinis is listed as a batsman on FanFight, he bowled in each of the first two matches of this series. Hence, due to his ability to contribute as a batsman and as a bowler, we have chosen him as our vice-captain. In the last game, he showed his class with a 37-ball 78 and he has generally been very good with the bat lately – in 2021 so far, he has scored 390 runs at an average of 39 in T20 cricket.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Stoinis could score 13-36 runs and could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
Ish Sodhi starred in the first game of the series, picking up four wickets and, while he didn’t have a great outing in the second match, he still managed to take one wicket. One of the key reasons we’ve selected Sodhi though is his outstanding record in Wellington. In five T20Is at the Sky Stadium, he has taken nine wickets at a strike rate of 12.7, picking up two or more wickets in each of his last four T20Is here.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Sodhi could take 0-1 wickets in this match.
While Matthew Wade will be disappointed to have not made a big score in this series yet, he has been one of the most consistent batsmen around in T20 cricket in recent years – 1506 runs at an average of 37.7 and strike rate of 153.2 since the start of 2018. In addition to his batting, as the wicketkeeper, he can get some valuable fantasy points at times with his work behind the stumps.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Wade could score 13-36 runs in this match.