The Aussies head over to New Zealand to take on our Trans Tasman rivals in a five-match T20 series. The first match will be played in Christchurch as both sides field youthful squads with plenty of up and coming stars to feature.
Fresh off the back of a comfortable test series win against Pakistan, the Kiwis will be out to turn the tables on Australia, who have been dominant at this format of the game in recent years. Australia will look to bounce back after a test series loss to India with their specialist white ball players ready to put on a show.
As mentioned, the Aussies have a great record over New Zealand in this format of the game, having won 7 of the 9 international T20 matches between the two sides. Many of the Australian team come into this off the back of some outstanding form in the Big Bash and will have plenty of recent T20 experience to draw on. In comparison, many of the Kiwi players come into this fresh off a test series and will take some adjusting to make the switch to the shortest format of the game.
I think the likes of Finch, Maxwell and Zampa will all be out to make an impact in a team with so many new faces and the Aussie squad looks a little more complete on paper than the New Zealand side. The Kiwis will be sweating on the fitness of Martin Guptill who is a crucial asset to their top order. If Guptill is unavailable it will heap even more pressure on skipper Kane Williamson who will need to lead the way in a batting lineup that could be exposed by the quality of Australia’s bowlers.
The Wolf expects Australia to be too strong in this series opener.
With the shaky form of Aaron Finch and Matt Wade plus inexperienced youngster Josh Philippe batting in the top order, Maxwell may get a chance to face a lot of balls in this series. There is always a bit of uncertainty around the make-up of the Aussie top order but one thing that is always for sure is the ability Maxy has to close out an innings. The Wolf is expecting plenty of fireworks from Australia’s multi-million dollar man and he will be keen to get the series off to a good start for his team.
He comes into this off the back of a good Big Bash campaign where we saw glimpses of the damage he can cause. Back in the international set-up, the Big Show is exactly where he likes to be and we just need him to spend enough time at the crease to post a big score.
This looks a big price for the latest superstar of international cricket. Jamieson just recently signed to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the fourth highest bid in IPL history. The tall right-arm pace bowler has been on an incredible run of form since joining the kiwi international set up and will look to continue that here in this series. He comes into this off the back of being awarded player of the series against Pakistan, where he tore through their batting lineup and also contributed with the bat in hand.
With many of the Australian batsmen not having played against Jamieson, he may be able to surprise them with his pace and bounce and grab a few wickets early. If the Kiwis are to pull out a victory in Game 1, then it could be on the back of the fast bowler. He can also do damage with the bat making this a solid bet at the $15.