New Zealand and Australia are ready to face each other in the third T20I of the five-match series at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday (March 03).
The Auckland lockdown has forced New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to make some changes in the schedule of the ongoing 5-match series. Unlike the original program, the third and fourth T20I will now take place in Wellington, and Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui will host the final contest. Further, there won’t be any crowds to witness the rest of the games.
Despite the changes, the challenge remains the same for Australia. They have already lost the first two matches and need to win all three games in order to seal the series.
On the other hand, the Black Caps are playing confident cricket. A glimpse of such was seen in the second game in Dunedin, where they held their nerves and defended the massive total despite the heroics of Marcus Stoinis, who nearly snatched away the match.
Since the Westpac Stadium uses drop-in pitches, it tends to favour batsmen. However, it has the lowest run rate (8.03) of any T20I venue in New Zealand. The average first innings score at this venue is 160, while 136 is the average second innings score. The hosts have a tremendous record at this ground, with eight wins from 12 matches.
Head to Head record:
Matches played: 11 | New Zealand Won: 3 | Australia Won: 7 | Tied: 1
After winning back-to-back matches, Kane Williamson might not change the winning combination. However, if needed, then Hamish Bennett can come in place of Kyle Jamieson, who had been really expensive in the previous outings.
NZ XI: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson/Hamish Bennett.
Australian captain Aaron Finch, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade need to pull their socks and come back in form to help Australia dominate the opposition. The visitors might want to strengthen their bowling attack, so Andrew Tye or Jason Behrendorff could feature in the final XI.
AUS XI: Aaron Finch (c), Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar/Andrew Tye/Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams.