Australia head back to Eden Park to take on the Blackcaps in the finale of the T20 series. In a strange turn of events New Zealand were defeated by England but snuck into the final on superior run rate. Australia will defy convention and stick with a winning formula. The Aussies have opted to go against the grain and ditch the need for a leg spinner. David Warner and the Aussie batsmen have shown a preference for chasing a total. All of their victories in this series have come batting second.
With the small boundaries the best option for the Kane Williamson would be to put the Aussies in if he is able to win the toss. A record 32 sixes were clubbed over the boundary the last time these two sides played.
The Kiwis will be feeling the heat as they have played well below their best this series. The pressure is on Kane Williamson to retain his place in this format of the game. David Warner has found some form with the bat and will be feeling confident of getting his hands on the trophy.
Australia have turned a corner in the T20I format. The Aussies entered the series ranked seventh in the world and now have the number one ranking in their sights. If the Aussies can grab the victory, then they will sneak ahead of Pakistan on the rankings to claim the number one ranking.
The Kiwis are under real pressure to get over the line against Australia. Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro are hitting their straps and will be key to the Kiwis getting the jump on the Aussie bowling attack. The last time out at Eden Park, Guptill hit his second T20I century and Munro bludgeoned 76 off 33 balls.
Kane Williamson has looked like a man under pressure. The Kiwi skipper has only one half century for the series and seemed out of ideas the last time these two sides met. Australia have a perfect record at this ground in the T20 format. Australia won the first ever clash between these sides in 2005 and haven’t taken a backward step against the Eden Park.
The Blackcaps always punch above their weight against the Aussies, but Australia are in-form and full of confidence.
Tip: Australia to win ($1.58)
The last time these two sides met Australia took advantages of the small ground dimensions to clear the boundary at will. The Kiwi bowling attack succumbed to the pressure in the key moments. The bonus for the Aussies is the form of David Warner ($4). Warner has had a lacklustre series by his lofty standards. If Warner and Short bat for the first ten overs then a score of 260 is not out the realms of possibility.
Chris Lynn ($4) is a danger for any bowling line-up coming in at number three and Glenn Maxwell ($5.50) has been in scintillating form since returning to the Aussie line-up. The ability of Aaron Finch ($9) to bat down the order has been a bonus for the Aussies.
Big things are expected of D’Arcy Short ($4.50) in Australian colours. Short will be hungry for runs after hitting a quick-fire 76 in the record chase against the Kiwis.
Tip: Back D’Arcy Short to top score for Australia ($4.50)
Martin Guptill ($3.50) is one of those players who can’t transfer his one-day form to Test cricket. The Kiwi opener has been rock for the Blackcaps at the top of the order. If Guptill fires, then the Blackcaps will be feeling confident of pulling off an upset.
Guptill has found a willing ally in Colin Munro ($3.50). Munro has proven his value at the top of the order over the last 12 months becoming the first Kiwi player to hit three centuries in the T20 game.
Outside of the two openers Colin De Grandhomme ($11) has a knack for clearing the boundary in a pinch. The all-rounder could be promoted up the order to take advantage of the short straight boundaries at Eden Park.
Tip: Back Martin Guptill to top score for New Zealand ($3.50)
Player of the Match
Chris Lynn has been eager to make an impact and there’s no better setting than in front of a parochial crowd at Eden Park. The Big Bash Star has the ability to clear the rope at will. The short straight boundaries are tailored made for a player of Lynn’s ability to clear the rope. If Lynn can overcome his perceived weakness against the spinners, then he is every chance of powering Australia to a victory.
Tip: Back Chris Lynn to be Player of the Match ($7)