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New Zealand vs Australia Third T20I Preview: Desperate visitors angling for a win over confident hosts

02 Mar 2021
Sridhar Bhamidi 02 Mar 2021
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  • New Zealand host Australia in Wellington for the third T20I on Wednesday
  • The match will be played behind closed doors, the first such game since the pandemic restart 
  • The Kiwis have a 2-0 lead having won the two matches by 53 and 4 runs respectively
  • New Zealand have won 5 of their last 6 T20Is
  • Aaron Finch has scored at least 37 in 8 of his last 14 T20Is
New Zealand v Australia Third T20
Can Australia fight their way back into the series? (Getty Images)

The impact of Auckland lockdown has changed the conditions for the last three T20Is of New Zealand and Australia series, but the playing dynamics haven’t changed. The Kiwis hold a 2-0 lead and the narrative for Australia is to win the remaining three T20Is in Wellington. New Zealand, on the other hand, can take the series with a win in the third T20I on Wednesday.

New Zealand Form

New Zealand were the better team in the two matches so far, in contrasting styles. A 53-run win in the first match was followed by a tense four-run win in the second. Batting was the dominant facet with Devon Conway and Martin Guptill taking turns to slam match-winning 90s.

Even with the ball in hand, New Zealand have been assertive, led by the irrepressible Trent Boult. He was impressive at both ends of the innings in the two matches and should once again be their key bowler. Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner have enjoyed the fruits of Boult’s tight bowling, picking up a four-wicket haul each.

New Zealand News

Kyle Jamieson’s spot could be under threat after a combined aggregate of 1/88 in the series so far. Hamish Bennet could get a look in.

Australia Form

After a horrific 131 all out in the first match, Australia gave an almighty scare to the Kiwis with a spirited 215/8 in the second T20I. Marcus Stoinis (78) and Daniel Sams (41) were the architects of that comeback, despite falling short in the end.

That said, Australia have a problem with their batting as captain Aaron Finch (13) and Glenn Maxwell (4) have struggled for runs in the series. Even with the ball, no bowler has had an ER of under 8.75 with three regular bowlers averaging over ten runs an over so far.

Australia News

Australian coach hinted at a few changes and those could come in the bowling department. Andrew Tye could come in place of Ashton Agar, while D’Arcy Short could get a game instead of Matthew Wade.

New Zealand vs Australia Head-to-Head

After starting the series with no bilateral wins against Australia, New Zealand now have two to their name. It is Australia, though, who lead the career H2Hs with a 7-3 win-loss record, with one match ending as a tie.

New Zealand vs Australia Match Up

New Zealand have been strong in the 7-16 over segment going for 9.02 runs per over and picking up ten wickets. In the same period, Australia have conceded 11.35 runs and have taken just three wickets. Spinners will once again be crucial, while Australia search for answers to bring Maxwell into play in these middle overs.

New Zealand vs Australia Stats

  • New Zealand have won 6 of their last 7 T20Is.
  • New Zealand have won 8 of their 12 T20Is here, losing 3 with one match tied.
  • Devon Conway has 3 scores of 50+ in his last 5 T20Is and 5 scores of 50 and above in his last 6 T20s.
  • Australia have won the third T20I in their last two bilateral series.
  • Australia have lost four of their last five away bilateral T20Is.
  • The team batting first has won 4 of the last 5 matches at this venue, excluding the tie.


Australia have all the running to do here, considering the series is on the line. They looked to be gaining some momentum in the second match and that could continue here. A win for Australia is long due and could be the order of the day.