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New Zealand vs Australia First T20I Preview: Trans-Tasman rivals set for an entertaining showdown
- New Zealand host Australia in Christ Church at the Hagley Oval for the first T20I on Monday
- Both teams will have their sights set on finalising their team compositions for the upcoming World Cup in India
- New Zealand have won 4 of their last 5 T20Is
- Australia have won 7 of the 9 T20Is against New Zealand, losing only once
- Aaron Finch has scored at least 37 in 8 of his last 12 T20Is
Let's get the niceties out of the way! (Getty Images)
The Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and Australia start their World T20 preparations in the right earnest when they play a five-match T20I series. The first of the matches will be played at Hagley Oval in Christ Church on Monday.
Both teams will have one eye on the team combinations as they look to finalise the plans for the upcoming T20I World Cup in India. With that in mind, it could be an interesting start to the series.
New Zealand Form
New Zealand have recently played three-match T20I series against West Indies and Pakistan at home. After a 2-0 win against West Indies with one match washed out, they defeated Pakistan 2-1 to head into this crucial series with confidence.
Crucially, most of the first team regulars have been warming up with the ‘Super Smash’ tournament. The likes of Devon Conway and Kane Williamson have had impressive season, while Tim Seifert and Tim Southee are coming off good series against Pakistan.
New Zealand News
Opener Martin Guptill will undergo a fitness test after missing the final two games of the ‘Super Smash’ season with a hamstring injury. Finn Allen remains in the squad as his cover.
Australia were last seen in this format in the three-match T20I series at home against India last December. They lost the series 2-1 with losses in the first two matches. Interestingly, Australia followed the same pattern and lost 2-1 to England in their preceding series.
Most of the squad is filled with Big Bash performers as the likes of Josh Philippe, Tanveer Sangha, Daniel Sams, and Jhye Richardson will look to stake their claim.
Australia have the full squad at their disposal and will look to take the latest Big Bash performances into account.
New Zealand vs Australia Head-to-Head
New Zealand have lost seven of nine T20Is against Australia, winning just one while the other is tied. Incidentally, the lone New Zealand win has come in the 2016 World T20 and the Kiwis are still looking for a first-ever bilateral win over their neighbours.
New Zealand vs Australia Match Up
The home batsmen have been in cracking form during the Pakistan series and also in the Super Smash giving them a head-start. Australia have some exciting T20 stars of their own, especially in the bowling department making it an intriguing clash.
New Zealand vs Australia Stats
- New Zealand have won 4 of their last 5 T20Is.
- Martin Guptill needs 12 runs to become the highest run-scorer in H2H T20Is, but has four single digit scores in his last seven matches.
- Kane Williamson averages 44.00 in his last ten T20Is, but has an average of 10.50 against Australia in four T20Is.
- Australia have won 7 of 9 T20Is against New Zealand, losing only once.
- Aaron Finch has scored at least 37 in 8 of his last 12 T20Is.
New Zealand and Australia will be looking beyond this match and the series as the preparation for the T20 World Cup starts. The Kiwis have an advantage considering how their key players have all been part of the ‘Super Smash’. That said, Australia should also fancy their chances as their Big Bash specialists make up their squad. It could be an interesting tussle for supremacy where batsmen on both sides might end up being the difference. New Zealand have additional firepower in their all-rounder department and that could sway the tables towards them.