Saturday, October 22, 2022

Rain Threat Looms Large over Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Opener

Australia vs New Zealand at SCG in Sydney: Oct 23, 2022 - Match Preview

The hosts of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and champions and the biggest favorites go head to head in the most anticipated clash of Group 1 at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney. The two sides met recently in a 3 match ODI series which the Australians clean swept. The two sides also met in the final of the last edition of the T20 World Cup in Dubai where Australia comfortably beat New Zealand.

However, there's almost 90% chance of rain and thunderstorm in Sydney tomorrow which could very well put a damper to the start of the prestigious tournament.

Australia added Cameroon Green to their already strong squad as a replacement for the injured Josh Inglis. Warner and Finch are set to open for them with Marsh, Maxwell and Stoinis to follow. Tim David should retain his place but Green might find a way into the starting XI considering his blistering form of late. 

The 3 pacers, Starc, Cummins & Hazlewood, literally pick themselves while Zampa is likely to be the lone spin option.

With Martin Guptill not in great form, New Zealand might stick with Finn Allen at the top to partner Devon Conway. Williamson at 3 provides the stability while Glenn Phillips should slot in at number 4.

The all rounders Jimmy Neesham, in form and man of the series Michael Bracewell and Santner should form the lower middle order. The strongest suit of the Kiwis is their pace bowling. Boult, Southee, Ferguson and Milne could all start looking at the damp weather conditions which could help pace at an otherwise spin friendly venue.

Key Battles: Australia vs New Zealand

Tim Southee and Trent Boult vs David Warner and Aaron Finch

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood vs Devon Conway and Kane Williamson

Adam Zampa vs Glenn Philips and Jimmy Neesham

We should witness a high octane clash between 2 sides with a lot of history. These two sides will not give an inch to the opposition and whoever wins this game will go a long way in the tournament because of the amount of confidence and self belief that such high pressure games can instill in you is immense. Keeping the fingers crossed that the rain stays away and we can squeeze in a near full game. In case the match is significantly shortened, I feel Australia has a significant advantage as they have powerful batsmen who can tee off from ball 1.

Probable Australia XI

Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade,  Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa

Probable New Zealand XI

Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Kane Williamson, Glenn Philips, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne

Top 5 Fantasy Picks for Australia v New Zealand at SCG, Sydney

David Warner

Devon Conway

Mitchell Starc

Trent Boult

Mitchell Marsh

The match will start at 12.00 PM IST (streamed live on Disney Hotstar app & on TV on Star Sports 1/2)

Which way do you see this match going? Will rain wash it away completely?

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