Game 1 - AUS vs. NZ
MATCH UP STATS
Game 1 - AUS vs. NZ
Series outright bettingAustralia: $2.63 at SportsbetNew Zealand: $2.70 at Sportsbet
AUSTRALIA have hardly enjoyed an ideal preparation for this T20 Tri-Series.
They were wholly outplayed by an enterprising England team in the recent One Day Internationals, winning only one game out of five.
Most concerning was the performance of the big guns.
Perhaps that made it easier for the selectors to rest Smith and Starc ahead of next month’s tour of South Africa.
That leaves Warner to skipper a squad that features plenty of fresh faces.
Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Billy Stanlake and the explosive D’Arcy Short have been rewarded for their excellent form in the Big Bash League.
Big hitters Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell are back, as is WA allrounder Ashton Agar.
New Zealand have brought over some new names of their own.
Wicket-keeper Tom Blundell and allrounder Seth Rance have played only six T20I games between them.
Anaru Kitchen, Bruce Wheeler and Tom Bruce are similarly inexperienced on the international stage.
However, the core elements of the Kiwi squad should be well known to Aussie cricket fans.
Kane Williamson leads a veteran batting troupe that includes Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee are the frontline quicks, with spin support from Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.
Zimbabwe-born Colin de Grandhomme is also a reliable performer with bat and ball.
Like Australia, the Black Caps come into this series of the back of a solid summer that has just tapered off.
They smashed the West Indies in all formats, won all five ODIs against Pakistan and then lost a three-match T20 series to the ICC Champions Trophy holders.
Best bets for top runscorer
- Top Australia batsman – +300 at Sportsbet
- To score 50 – +225 at Ladbrokes
Finch was the only man in Australia’s top order who delivered the goods in the recent one-dayers. The Victorian made two tons and a 62 before injury struck midway through the series, but he is expected back for Saturday’s clash at the SCG.
- Top NZ batsman – +320 at Sportsbet
- Top match batsman – +600 at Palmerbet
Like Finch, Guptill is a highly talented player who has always done his best work against the white ball. He has enjoyed a profitable summer and holds very fond memories of Sydney, where he tonned up on his last visit two years ago.
Top wicket-taker betting tips
- Top Australia bowler – +250 at Ladbrokes
- Man of the match – +1200 at Sportsbet
Tye endured a rocky start to the ODIs against England, but he finished with a flurry of eight wickets in two games. The West Australian’s myriad variations are even more potent in the Twenty20 format – hence his $1.4 million IPL contract.
- Top NZ bowler – +350 at Sportsbet
- Man of the match – +2000 at Palmerbet
New Zealand is not always associated with quality spin bowlers, but Santner and Sodhi rank among the best double acts on the T20 circuit. Anyone who has watched the recent development of Mitch’s left-arm arsenal will know exactly why we have picked him.
Who wins – Australia or New Zealand?
These two should be well matched over the course of the series, especially when it moves across the ditch. The Aussies should edge it on this occasion, if only because they are stacked with young, hungry players fresh out of the BBL.
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