The series came to a sudden-halt when Napier was once again exposed to New Zealand’s horrid weather, the umpires decided to abandon the match due to a soggy outfield leaving a huge question mark hanging over this ground as an International venue.
When you look at it both ways, that abandoned second match has sapped all the excitement right out of this series now. New Zealand are the only team that can win the series as well, adding further frustration to the Australians who looked determined to break-even in the second game of the series. At the end of the day, it is what it is and Australia are purely playing for pride, but more importantly trying to hold onto that Chappell-Hadlee trophy they won late last year at home. There is no rain forecast for this match whatsoever, so regardless of the outcome we’re going to get to see a contest between these two Oceania teams. Stand-in skipper Aaron Finch is desperate to get the monkey off his back after numerous failures in a string of ODI’s for Australia, although New Zealand is a tough venue to accomplish that. This series has certainly indicated that Australia were looking to get the job done through their strong bowling attack which consists of Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Faulkner, but the quirky-batting combination for this tour has been exposed which would have been Cricket Australia’s biggest fear. The wicket at Hamilton produced a low-scoring contest in the last ODI that was played last year between these two sides, so that could sway the match in favor of the Black Caps once again.
Winning back the Chappell-Hadlee trophy would be bitter-sweet for New Zealand after a 3-0 defeat in Australia late last year, although this wouldn’t go down as one of the most satisfying series wins given the washed out second game and absence of Steve Smith and David Warner for the opposition, but a wins a win I guess. A ground where the bowlers generally have an absolute field day might give them the upper hand in this game, the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult will be looking to create havoc early and knock over a pretty shaky-Australian batting order it must be said. The perfect scenario would be Tom Latham and Kane Williamson scoring runs at their fluent best, with the middle-order looking pretty stable to finish the job off late in the innings. The bowling attacks are a mirror-image of each other, you’ve got Boult and Starc who can swing it a mile at pace, Hazlewood and Southee who just bowl those consistent lines and get results more often than not and Cummins and Ferguson who rely on extreme pace. As mentioned, New Zealand’s batting line-up is a lot more stable than Australia’s current top six, so don’t be surprised if we see a Black Caps-dominated contest on a pitch that usually has plenty of life in it for the bowlers.
New Zealand’s top 4 key players | 3rd ODI | Hamilton
- Trent Boult – A venue that favors the quicks should see Boult have an absolute field day on a lush-surface where pace, swing and bounce are all key areas of Boult’s game.
- Kane Williamson – It takes a quality batsman to score on a wicket that favors the bowlers, don’t be surprised if Williamson plays yet another match-winning knock.
- Tim Southee – Was hammered in his last spell in Auckland, don’t expect that in Hamilton with wickets always a possibility when Southee gets the ball moving.
- Neil Broom – One of the inform Black Caps batsmen who has scored three-consecutive fifties in his past three outings, Broom is as solid as a brick house with the bat at the moment.
Australia’s top 4 key players | 3rd ODI | Hamilton
- Mitchell Starc – The bowlers will be the key to success in this match, Starc is one of the premier quicks who will feast on the Black Caps if they’re not watchful early.
- Josh Hazlewood – Australia’s second most reliable option in the team, consistent line & length on pitches like Hamilton are almost always rewarded with a handful of scalps.
- Glenn Maxwell – A lush-looking surface won’t worry Maxy, he’s an unorthodox batsman who tends to take on the bowlers regardless of the situation.
- Aaron Finch – It’s times like these that out-of-form batsmen tend to step-up out of nowhere, here’s hoping Finch can produce one of those innings tomorrow for Australia.
Team News | New Zealand
It was confirmed in the previous ODI that Martin Guptill was ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury leaving a vacant opening spot. Dean Brownlie is a near-certainty to replace his injured teammate, his last ODI was in 2014. Ish Sodhi has also been drafted into the squad, but the big question is will he play and who would he replace? Lockie Ferguson would be unlucky to miss out after his previous performance, but it’s unlikely they’d drop Southee or Boult.
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Dean Brownlie 2. Tom Latham (wk) 3. Kane Williamson (c) 4. Ross Taylor 5. Neil Broom 6. Colin Munro 7. James Neesham 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Tim Southee 10. Lockie Ferguson/Ish Sodhi 11. Trent Boult.
Fantasy Cricket Team News | Australia
With Matthew Wade ruled out for the series with a back injury, Aaron Finch will continue to captain the side. New Zealand’s inclusion of a leg-spinner might prompt Australia to go down the same road with Adam Zampa who would most-likely replace Pat Cummins who was expensive in the first game. Billy Stanlake might have to sit out the series with Starc and Hazlewood in the playing eleven.
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. Travis Head 3. Shaun Marsh 4. Peter Handscomb (wk) 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. Sam Heazlett 7. Marcus Stoinis 8. James Faulkner 9. Mitchell Starc 10. Pat Cummins/Adam Zampa 11. Josh Hazlewood.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.