First T20I – Australia v New Zealand: Saturday 7:20pm AEDT, SCG, Sydney
Both Australia and New Zealand come into the international T20 tri-series on the back of series losses and will be looking for redemption. Australia was comprehensively beaten 4-1 by England in the recent ODI series, while New Zealand lost 2-1 to Pakistan in their T20 series that finished just under a week ago, and also lost their world No.1 T20 ranking in the process.
|Top Australia Batsman||David Warner ($4.40)|
|Top New Zealand Batsman||Colin Munro ($4.40)|
|Top Australia Bowler||Andrew Tye ($3.70)|
|Top New Zealand Bowler||Ish Sodhi ($4.40)|
Head to Head
Australia have won four of the six T20 international matches they have played against New Zealand and won their most recent T20 against the Kiwis by 8 runs back in 2016 at the World T20 in India. Both countries have named strong line-ups, with plenty of the Australian squad selected on the back of strong form in the Big Bash League. New Zealand is in the rare position to have the world’s No.1 ranked T20 international batsman in Colin Munro, and world’s No.1 ranked T20 international bowler in Ish Sodhi both in their squad. Both Munro and Sodhi will be key members for New Zealand during this T20 tri-series. The Wolf sees Australia having a massive advantage in their batting ranks when you consider that the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, D’Arcy Short, Alex Carey, Chris Lynn and even Glenn Maxwell are all capable of opening the batting. Hobart Hurricanes opener D’Arcy Short has scored the most runs during BBL|07, with 506 runs at an average of 56 and strike-rate of 147.80. Alex Carey is second with 425 runs and Glenn Maxwell fifth with 299 runs. It might not be Australia’s first-choice bowling attack, with an eye on the Test series against South Africa, but they have plenty of depth, especially in this format of the game. Scorchers quick and change-up specialist Andrew Tye has 16 wickets at an average of 12 during BBL|07 and will be well-supported by Kane Richardson (12 wickets IN BBL|07) and Billy Stanlake (11 wickets IN BBL|07). The Big Bash is a massive advantage for these Australian players, while the Kiwis look vulnerable after their T20 series loss to Pakistan
Top Australian Batsman
David Warner had a very unhappy ODI series against England, with just 73 runs from his five matches. It was Warner’s worst ODI series with the bat to date and he’ll be looking to bounce back, especially with the (c) next to his name in Steve Smith’s absence. Warner is Australia’s all-time leading run scorer in T20 international cricket with 1696 runs and can be very damaging in this format of the game.
Top New Zealand Batsman
Colin Munro is tipped to make a return from injury to take on Australia in the first T20 of the international tri-series. He is currently ranked as the No.1 batsman in the world in T20 internationals and his return will be well received by the Kiwis after their disappointing T20 series loss to Pakistan. Munro has played just 40 T20I matches and has already amassed 997 runs, three centuries and all at an incredible 157.50 strike-rate.
Top Australian Bowler
Andrew Tye is having an outstanding summer not only in the BBL, but is coming off a career-best bowling performance in the 5th ODI against England, recording figures of 5/46. As already mentioned, Tye has taken 16 wickets in BBL|07 and will lead this Australian bowling line-up, with no Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or Pat Cummins to rely on.
Top New Zealand Bowler
Ish Sodhi is currently the world’s top-ranked T20 international bowler and should enjoy bowling at the SCG against an Australian side that has had its fair share of headaches against spin. Sodhi has 31 wickets in 21 T20I matches for New Zealand, which already ranks him in the Top 5 for most T20I wickets.