It was the home side who were far too strong for our Aussies in match one of this T20 series so the visitors will need to turn things around in Game 2 if they are a chance to take the series.
All eyes will be on skipper Aaron Finch as his horror run of form continues and questions will start to be raised if he can’t put together some runs here today. The Kiwis were way too good in all facets of the game in the series opener so Finch and his men will look to bounce back as we head to Dunedin.
It’s pretty hard to tip against the Kiwis here. They completely outclassed the Aussies the other day and never really looked like losing once they posted a strong total. Even when they were struggling early at 3-19, they never panicked and the depth in their middle order looks a massive factor in their success. This New Zealand team looks comfortable and set in stone, a stark comparison to the Australians, who seem to be experimenting and tinkering with their line-up for this tour.
All the pressure of this match will now be on the visiting side as another poor performance will start to raise alarm bells. Speaking of pressure, Aaron Finch will be carrying a massive load on his shoulders in this match as his poor form just continues. The problem with Finch struggling is that it seems to have a domino effect on his teammates and they just haven’t been able to stop the damage once they lose early wickets. The Wolf is expecting the Black Caps to exploit this once again and be too good on home soil.
It’s a glaring comparison at the moment between the two skippers with Williamson in some of the best form of his career while the struggles of Finch are on show for all to see. With that being said, the Kiwi skipper could only manage 12 runs in the series opener but he looked in good touch in the brief time he spent at the crease.
The Wolf can’t see the middle-order heroics of game one continuing here and the steady Williamson looks the obvious choice in this side to anchor the innings. Martin Guptill is having his struggles at the top of the order meaning we may see the Kiwi skipper at the crease early again and you can guarantee he won’t want to miss out twice.
Marsh was one of the few Aussie players who can be happy with the way they played in Game 1, having top scored with 39 and doing his best to lift his team over the line. Marsh has come into this series with some great form with the bat in hand as his bowling duties have been restricted due to injury. He performed well throughout the Big Bash posting a number of solid scores and it looks like he has carried that form over to this series.
If we see another Australian batting collapse don’t be surprised to see Marsh become the beneficiary of this again. There will be a lot riding on his shoulders if his teammates fail early in the innings and just needs to spend enough time at the crease. At the price, he looks worthy of a small bet.