Less than one year after New Zealand were blown away by Australia in the 2021 T20 World Cup final in Dubai , the two teams come together once again, this time to launch the main draw of the 2022 T20 World Cup at what will be a packed SCG. However, with the La Niña weather event in play there is a 90% chance of rain in Sydney, which could potentially play spoilsport.
If it comes down to a truncated shootout on Saturday, Australia arguably have more depth and explosive power than New Zealand. However, one can never count New Zealand out at a global tournament.
Australia LLWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
The boundaries in Australia are bigger than the those in many other parts of the word. But they still might not be big enough for Tim David who has a bit of Kieron Pollard about his six-hitting. In addition to muscling the ball over midwicket, David is particularly good at hitting in the ‘V’ like his Mumbai Indians senior. His duel with Ferguson/Milne could set the pulses racing.
The sensational Cameron Green has found a way into Australia’s squad, but may not be able to make the XI, especially now that it looks like Marsh might just be available to bowl a few overs, if needed.
Australia (probable): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 David Warner, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Tim David, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Kane Williamson didn’t rule out the possibility of both Ferguson and Milne featuring in New Zealand’s XI. Bracewell emerged as the Player-of-the-(Tri)Series against Bangladesh and Pakistan earlier this month but might miss out if New Zealand opt for the experience of Santner and Sodhi and the batting insurance offered by Mark Chapman.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Devon Conway (wk), 2 Finn Allen/Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Michael Bracewell/Mark Chapman, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Lockie Ferguson/Adam Milne, 11 Ish Sodhi
Pitch and conditions
The pitch was under cover for most of Friday so Finch only got a brief look at it. He said it was on the drier side. Though the forecast is grim, the SCG recovers quickly from rain, which the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, says is likely to come in the afternoon and the evening.
“We haven’t thought too much about that. Nice to play against Australia first up, and it should be a good game.” Kane Williamson is not reading too much into New Zealand’s Australia hoodoo