New Zealand vs Australia, 1st T20I Match Preview

New Zealand take on Australia in the first T20I of the three-match series on Wednesday, February 21.

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Mitchell Santner and Mitchell Marsh
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Mitchell Santner and Mitchell Marsh. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

New Zealand and Australia are set to square off in what promises to be a high-octane three-match T20I series. Sky Stadium in Wellington is going to host the first T20I between the two cricketing giants on Wednesday, February 21.

The Kiwis are coming off a first-ever Test series win against South Africa, albeit against a second-string side. Their only T20I assignment this year was the five-match series at home against Pakistan. The BlackCaps won the first four matches before going down in the last encounter.

Finn Allen was in scintillating form against Pakistan as he finished as the top run-getter with 275 runs from five games at an average of 55 and a strike rate of 195.04. Meanwhile, veteran pacer Tim Southee emerged as the highest wicket-taker, bagging 10 wickets in five games at an average of 14 and a strike rate of 11.70. His economy rate was an impressive 7.18.

Also Read: ‘Derogatory and vulgar’ - David Warner calls out New Zealand spectator behavior towards Aussies

Meanwhile, 2021 T20 World Cup champions Australia recently defeated the West Indies 2-1 in a three-match T20I series in their own backyard. All three matches turned out to be high-scoring encounters, with 200+ scores being registered in five out of the six innings.

David Warner stood out with the bat against the West Indies. He scored 173 runs at an average of 57.67 and a strike rate of 166.35. In the bowling department, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa stood out with five wickets each from two and three games respectively. The former needed just seven overs to pick up his five wickets.

Sky Stadium Pitch Report

T20I cricket is returning to the Sky Stadium in Wellington after almost three years. Interestingly, Australia and New Zealand were the two teams who played the last T20I at this venue on March 7, 2021. 219/6 is the highest score at this venue. The Kiwis amassed this total against India in 2019. The average first-innings score is 152, while the highest successful run-chase is 163. Out of the 15 T20Is that have been played at the venue, seven have been won by teams batting first, while eight have been won by chasing teams. Captains would be inclined to bowl first to assess the nature of the pitch and have a target ahead of them.

NZ vs AUS Probable Playing XI

New Zealand:

New Zealand will be confident after their excellent performance against Pakistan. They will be missing the services of Kane Williamson (paternity leave) and Daryl Mitchell (foot injury). However, the talented Rachin Ravindra and the experienced Trent Boult have made a return to the squad. The latter, however, is available only for the second and third T20Is. Meanwhile, Michael Bracewell (finger injury) and James Neesham (Bangladesh Premier League) were considered unavailable for selection. Big-hitting all-rounder Josh Clarkson could be in line for a T20I debut

Predicted XI:

Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Josh Clarkson, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner (c), Adam Milne/Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson

Australia:

Australia are back to full strength after resting a few of their experienced players against the West Indies. The return of Travis Head, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc has bolstered the squad. They will be without Stoinis, who has been ruled out with a back issue.

Predicted XI:

David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Also Read: Mitchell Marsh confirms Australia's top-order for the 2024 T20 World Cup, no room for Steve Smith

NZ vs AUS T20Is Head-to-Head Records:

Matches Played 16
New Zealand won 5
Australia won  10
NR 1
First Meeting 17 Feb 2005
Last Meeting 22 Oct 2022

NZ vs AUS, 1st T20I Broadcast details:

Date Wednesday, February 21
Timing 11:40 AM (IST)
Broadcast -
Live Streaming Amazon Prime app and website

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