Only about a year after Australia defeated New Zealand in the 2021 T20 World Cup final in Dubai, the two sides reunite to kick off the main draw of the 2022 T20 World Cup at the SCG, which will be crowded. In Sydney, there is a 90% probability of rain, which might be problematic given the current La Nia weather phenomena.
Even though it was in Brisbane earlier this week, New Zealand’s exhibition game versus India was also postponed. Daryl Mitchell, one of their heroes from the 2021 T20 World Cup, will also be forced to miss the match due to injury and is in a race against time to recover.
In the most recent T20I tri-series at home in Christchurch, fast bowlers Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne were carefully handled since they are both recovering from injuries. Then there is New Zealand’s track record in the Australian ground against Australia. In any format, not even one win since 2011.
Martin Guptill was demoted to the bench while Devon Conway and Finn Allen were promoted to the top spot by New Zealand, which had to make a difficult decision. The most effective powerplay strike rate among all hitters who have played at least ten innings in this phase since Allen’s T20I debut in March 2021 is 156.48, making him one of the most exciting short-format performers right now.
There are even more difficulties with selecting. Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, and Wellington Firebirds batting all-rounder Michael Bracewell—who has also proven his bowling all-around abilities—must be chosen by New Zealand. Finding a spot for all three in the same XI is quite unlikely.
Australia has seen its fair share of problems leading up to the World Cup, but despite losing backup wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis to a golf injury, they seem to be in much better form. Over the last year, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, and Matthew Wade have all thrived in T20 cricket. Add Tim David’s finishing prowess and David Warner’s reputation at the top, and you have the makings of another championship team.
Australia has larger boundaries than many other countries throughout the world. They might not be large enough for Tim David, whose six-hitting style has a hint of Kieron Pollard’s. David excels in hitting in the “V” like his Mumbai Indians teammate, in addition to muscling the ball over midwicket. The tension in his matchup with Ferguson/Milne may make hearts race.
Hazlewood (23) has taken more wickets during the powerplay in T20 cricket over the previous 12 months than any other seamer. In 32 innings, he has taken 23 wickets at a 6.20 economy rate. Only Maheesh Theekshana of Sri Lanka has more wickets than Hazlewood among all bowlers, although he has played in 40 more innings.
On Saturday, if a short shootout is necessary to decide the winner, Australia could have more strength and explosive power than New Zealand. At a worldwide competition, though, New Zealand should never be written off.
AUS vs NZ Pitch and conditions
Finch only got a quick glimpse of the pitch because it was covered for the whole of Friday. It was on the dryer side, he claimed. Despite the gloomy outlook, the SCG quickly bounces back after rain, which the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicts would likely arrive in the afternoon and evening.
AUS vs NZ Predicted Playing 11
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
New Zealand: Devon Conway (wk), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, 9 Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi