Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chappell-Hadlee Series on the Line as the Trans-Tasman Rivals Clash Again

Australia Vs New Zealand, 1st ODI Match at the Eden Park in Auckland - Match Preview

Australia won the ODI series against India comfortably by a margin of 4-1 although the matches were probably a lot closer than that scoreline could ever suggest. All the matches in that series were high scoring encounters with Australia chasing down targets of over 300 with relative ease. They did suffer a 0-3 loss to India in the three match T20I series but that was in part because Australia had sent their main players (Warner, Smith, Wade, Richardson) to New Zealand to prepare for this series.

New Zealand on the other hand have had a glorious summer till now where they have trashed the other Asian giants, Sri Lanka and Pakistan with ease in all formats.

The Chappell-Hadlee series is something that was conceptualised with great ambitions by both the national boards in the early 2000's but it has since lost its sheen and purpose with the advent of T20 cricket.

The group match of the ICC World Cup 2015 these two teams played at Eden Park, Auckland had the Chappell-Hadlee series on the line so New Zealand are the current holders of the trophy. That match produced a nail-biter as the lure of the short boundaries had batsmen from both teams licking their lips and going a bit too hard. But there was swing on offer and Trent Boult bowled a memorable spell of 5-3-3-5 which saw the Australians crumble to 151. Starc then wreaked havoc on the Kiwi line up while picking up 6 wickets before Williamson smashed a straight six to seal the match in the black caps favour.

For the Australians, Shaun Marsh will open with David Warner as Finch is injured and Khawaja was left out for this match. Mitch Marsh also comes in as an all-rounder while the bowling will be shouldered by Hastings, Richardson and Hazlewood. Starc remains injured and Australia did not consider new leg spinner Adam Zampa for this particular match though he is in the squad.

For New Zealand, their talismanic captain Brendon McCullum is back after missing most of the matches they played against Sri Lanka and Pakistan due to the back injury he suffered while diving into the boundary hoardings during the Lankan ODI series. His impact at the top of the order along with the in form Martin Guptill will be immense considering the inexperience in the Aussie bowling line up. The fast bowling will be shored up by Boult, Milne and Henry who will certainly be a fearsome prospect to face if there is swing on offer.

The series starts from the same venue as that of the World Cup and the short boundaries are once again eye catching but if the ball starts moving then there might be another low scoring thriller on the cards.

4 Fantastico battles to look forward to:

David Warner and Steve Smith Vs Trent Boult
Glenn Maxwell Vs Mitchell Santner
Brendon McCullum Vs Australian Opening Bowlers
Corey Anderson Vs James Faulkner

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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