Australia are back on home soil for their One Day International series against New Zealand. Can they bounce back from their hammering in South Africa?
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Australia vs New Zealand Preview: 1st ODI Predictions & Betting Tips
Friday, March 13 – 03:30 GMT – Sydney Cricket Cround, Sydney, Australia
Australia were well and truly beaten in their recent ODI series in South Africa. They were successful in their Twenty20 series, taking a 2-1 win, but they were outclassed when they moved up to 50 overs.
Their opening ODI in Paarl saw South Africa bat first and they made 291/7 from their 50 overs with Pat Cummins the pick of the bowlers with three wickets from his 10 overs. Australia certainly had the batting line-up to chase down that total, but for some reason they fell 74 runs short.
Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch failed to get off to a good start with them making 25 and 10 respectively, while Steve Smith top scored with 76 from 94 balls.
Smith was helped along by South African-born Marnus Labuschagne who hit 41 from 51 balls, but no-one else really contributed as they went from 274-5 to 217 all out.
They improved in the second ODI in Bloemfontein as they made 271 off their 50 overs with Finch and D’Arcy Short both top scoring with 69 runs.
Despite hitting 271, it still wasn’t enough as the Proteas hit the winning runs with just nine balls remaining. The Aussie bowlers seemed to struggle with Adam Zampa the only player to take two wickets.
Australia suffered a third successive defeat in the ODI series as they again failed to impress. They made only 254 with the loss off seven wickets in Potchefstroom with Labuschagne top scoring with 108 from as many balls, hitting eight fours in the process.
The hosts then cruised to victory with 27 balls left in the innings as they lost just four wickets again with JJ Smuts smashing 12 fours on the way to 84 from 98 deliveries.
Australia coach Justin Langer will have his team ready for the visit of New Zealand has admitted that some of his players are suffering from fatigue and that it was obvious during the tour of South Africa.
He said: “”The truth is we’ve got some weary boys at the moment, particularly our senior players. They play so much cricket.
“They went straight from the IPL which was almost a year ago, straight to the World Cup, straight to the Ashes and what’s been a golden summer for us until, probably, these last three one-dayers.
“We’ve probably learned the lessons from that in the past as well when the guys are playing all three forms, and playing IPL … even the best of the best, staying 100 per cent sharp all the time is really hard to do.”
New Zealand have just played a two-Test series, five-match T20 series and a three-game ODI series against India with mixed results.
They won the Test series 2-0 with convincing victories in Wellington and Christchurch, while they were hammered 5-0 in the T20 series with two of those games ending in a Super Over. New Zealand seem to struggle when it comes down to a one-over eliminator, they are still getting flashbacks from the World Cup Final against England.
They picked up success in the ODI series taking it 3-0 to give them a bit of confidence heading into this contest with fierce rivals Australia.
Ross Taylor was the hero in the opening ODI in Hamilton when he hit 109 not out from 84 balls with 10 fours and four sixes, while Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham contributed with 78 and 69 respectively to chase down India’s total of 347.
The second game saw New Zealand bat first and they hit 273/8 off 50 overs with Martin Guptill top scoring with 79, while Taylor was again in fine form as he smashed 73 from 74 balls. In reply, India were bowled out for 251 with Hamish Bennett, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme all taking two wickets apiece.
The hosts then secured a whitewash victory in the third and final ODI in Mount Maunganul. India batted first and reached 297/7 off their 50 overs with Bennett being the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-64 off 10 overs. Henry Nicholls top scored in their run chase as he hit 80 off 103 deliveries, while Guptill and De Grandhomme were instrumental in the win as they hit 66 and 58 respectively as they chased down the total with 17 balls remaining.
Australia might be using the excuse they are tired, but one thing we know about the Aussies is that they always fight back when they are written off. I am backing them to bounce back in style and beat New Zealand, while Marnus Labuschagne will be looking to continue his fine form with the bat and be their top scorer.
Australia vs New Zealand Preview: Team Line-ups
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.