New Zealand will host Australia for the opening match of the long 5-matches T20I series. It will be the last international assignment in the Australian continent this summer.
Match Timings: Feb 22, 11:30 AM IST
Christchurch will host the first match of the much-awaited T20I series between New Zealand and Australia. The hosts have been terrific at home and beat West Indies and Pakistan in the T20I series. Before these two T20I triumphs, they lost to England and India in the last home-summer. New Zealand avoided the rotation system to appear in this competitive series, and Kane Williamson will lead the side in all five T20Is. Finn Allen has been named as a standby player for the injured Martin Guptill in the squad. Guptill might be dropped due to his poor form in the shorter format. He managed only 85 runs from five T20I innings against West Indies and Pakistan recently. He failed with the bat even in Super Smash, scoring just 46 runs at an average of 11.50.
Fin Allen aggregated 512 runs in Super Smash this season at a strike-rate of 194. Devon Conway impressed since his debut against West Indies. Glenn Phillips shined against West Indies, and Tim Seifert was the hero in the Pakistan series. Kiwis are building a team for the T20 World Cup, and with each series, they are getting new match-winners. Mark Chapman made his debut in the last series and scored vital 34 runs. The emerging player of 2020, Kyle Jamieson, is also back who made big numbers in the Indian T20 League auction. Blackcaps are the balanced side, but they have to prepare themselves for the tough task this time.
Meanwhile, Australia will be back in action after a shocking 2-1 test and T20I defeat to India at home. Finch will lead the side and would target the best combination to prepare for the T20 World Cup. Australia added players from the domestic T20 league such as Tanveer Sangha, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, and Josh Philippe. Josh Phillipe was the player of the tournament. The wicket-keeper batsman scored 508 runs at an average of 31.75 and a strike rate of 149.41. Tanveer Sangha could be a handy inclusion to provide support to Zampa in the spin. Australia rested its bowling attack. Jhye Richardson will make his debut on Monday. Richardson was the leading wicket-taker in Australia T20 League 2020-21. They have the best team combination, but beating Kiwis at their home ground will be a tough task.
Hagley Oval hosted majority of the matches this summer at domestic level, and the surface showed good assistance between batting and bowling. Spinners might control the runs, but pacers will have the better edge. The chasing side will have an extra advantage.
Aaron Finch (c), D'Arcy Short/Matthew Wade, Josh Philippe, Glenn Maxwell,Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson/Jhye Richardson, Daniel Sams, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill/Finn Allen, Tim Seifert, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Australia T20 League 2020-21 – 508 runs at an average of 31.75
Australia T20 League 2020-21 – 29 wickets at an average of 16.31
Top form in Indian T20 League 2020& on international level
Last series vs Pak – 176 runs in 3 innings at an average of 88