Defending champions Australia will kickstart the super 12 round of the ICC T20 World Cup in a square-off against Oceania rivals New Zealand.

Defending champions Australia will kickstart the super 12 round of the ICC T20 World Cup in a square-off against Oceania rivals New Zealand on October 22 at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The Kangaroos have not enjoyed great success in T20Is in the recent series, as they lost against England and India. Further, they got off to a losing start in the warm-up matches after facing a defeat from India.

On the other hand, Kiwis, who lost to Australia in the 2021 World Cup final, will look to avenge their defeat. Aaron Finch will lead Australia, while Kane Williamson will command the Kiwis.

The two teams have not locked horns since the last World Cup. Further, both teams are tied with one each in the head-to-head tally at the ICC T20 World Cup.

When previously the two teams met, the baggy greens handed an eight-wicket defeat to the Kiwis. However, time and things have changed. While Australia have named an almost identical squad to the one in 2021, the Kiwis have several new additions to the team, such as Michael Bracewell and Finn Allen. 

Venue

Date- October 22, 2022

Time- 12:30 pm (IST)

Venue- Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Weather

Bad news for cricket fans as rain can play a spoilsport in the opening fixture of the super 12 round. Similar to how India vs Pakistan game can get whitewashed or shortened, a rain threat looms over this particular tie as well. There is around a 90% chance of rain in Sydney on October 22.

Who can Win?

Australia have had the upper hand over New Zealand if we compare the head-to-head ratio of both teams in the T20I format. Out of the 15 matches, the baggy greens have won 10, while the Kiwis were victorious on just four occasions.

Further, a win in the 2021 T20 World Cup final also gives an edge to Australia in the upcoming fixture. Apart from these reasons, several other factors favor Australia in winning, such as home conditions and present form.

Although, we should compare different departments to predict the winner of the forthcoming tie.

Openers

Aaron Finch and David Warner overpower the New Zealand opening pair of Devon Conway and Martin Guptill in records and prowess. Aaron Finch and David Warner are one of the most destructive opening pairs in the world, and the duo holds the record for the most unbeaten 50+ opening partnerships in men’s T20I (3).

On the other hand, a young Finn Allen has been pushing hard to book his spot as the permanent opener in the team, but the Black Caps will go ahead with the experienced pair of Guptill and Conway. Conway and Finn have had more impact at the start than Conway and Guptill, who crossed the 50-plus score just once this year.

New Zealand – 0 Australia – 1

Middle-order batsmen

The Australian middle-order line-up has more match-winners and impactful players than New Zealand. Australia have Steve Smith, who knows how to anchor an inning till the end. They have power hitters, such as Glenn Maxwell and Tim David, who can score quickfire runs with a strike rate of 150 and above without wasting any ball.

Other than these players, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Mathew Wade provide invaluable depth to their batting line-up, something New Zealand lack. The Black Caps have skipper Williamson, who can anchor innings, but Chapman, Neesham, Bracewell and Philips have not had the same impact as the Australian middle order.

New Zealand – 0 Australia – 2

Bowling department

Compared to other teams, New Zealand are much more versed in Australian pitches, but no team can better understand the conditions than the host.

If we compare the bowling department, New Zealand have veterans Tim Southee and Trent Boult, but Australia also got Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc to counter the Kiwis. But if we compare the spin department, Australia’s Adam Zampa is a better wicket-taking bowler than Ish Sodhi.

New Zealand – 0 Australia – 3

Thus, after comparing every department and other factors, Australia will win the opening fixture of the World Cup.

Predictable line-up

Australia

  1. Aaron Finch
  2. David Warner
  3. Steve Smith
  4. Mitchell Marsh
  5. Glenn Maxwell
  6. Tim David
  7. Matthew Wade
  8. Adam Zampa
  9. Mitchell Starc
  10. Jos Hazlewood
  11. Pat Cummins

New Zealand

  1. Devon Conway
  2. Martin Guptill
  3. Kane Williamson
  4. Glenn Phillips
  5. Mark Chapman
  6. James Neesham
  7. Michael Bracewell
  8. Ish Sodhi
  9. Trent Boult
  10. Tim Southee
  11. Lockie Ferguson

Squads

New Zealand:  Kane Williamson (c), Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Lachlan Ferguson, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell, Trent Boult, Finn Allen.

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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