AUSTRALIA v NEW ZEALAND ODI GAME 3
MCG, Friday 9th December
The series may already have been won by Australia but the Third ODI between Australia and New Zealand would still be a keenly contested one. The hosts will look to complete the whitewash while New Zealand will look to salvage pride.
All rosy with the Aussies?
Australia were in dire need of this series win to boost their confidence after all that they have been thru this year. If it was Steven Smith show in the first match, David Warner set the tempo in the second match which was later utilized perfectly by Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh.
Of course, Aaron Finch is still struggling for runs at the top but that hasn’t effected them one bit. Marsh would be happy to have deflected some of the criticism with a breezy innings which could be bad news for Glenn Maxwell who may still have to wait for his chance.
Bowling has been on the spot too with Pat Cummins showing glimpses of his great potential while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood looked at ease in controlling the game. It remains to be seen if the hosts make some changes to rest their regulars.
What’s wrong with the Kiwis?
Frankly speaking, nothing much! The series has been won or lost on very thin margins. If Smith had been dismissed early in the first match, it would have been completely different for the visitors. The second match saw the Kiwis bowl better but the brilliance of Warner outshone and deflate them. And once they amassed such a tall total, the match was always going to be out of reach for the Kiwis.
Lack of runs at the top isn’t helping New Zealand either. Martin Guptill is enjoying the change of colors – colored clothing brings the best out of him – but Tom Latham seems to have left his scoring form at home. Dual all-rounders in the form of James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme isn’t helping them either and Williamson may want to go for an extra batsman.
Lack of incision with the ball is hurting them as the visitors kept struggling to take wickets. Uncharacteristically, they have been wayward in the field with wides, misfields and dropped catches blotting their performances. Plugging those little gaps will help them take first steps towards redemption.
What a turnaround for the Aussies! The Kangaroos look set to continue their good form and at odds of 1.38 (Pinnacle) are huge favorites to complete the whitewash. A Kiwi win is being offered at odds of 3.50 (Ladbrokes) but on current form, taking that punt would be a huge risk.
Maxwell has gone thru so much in the pre-series that you would be excused to think that he’s already involved in some action. Having wrapped up the series, Smith gets a chance to test his options and the ‘Big Show’ could be one of them. There’s no confirmation but if he does play, back him to be the top scorer for Australia at odds of 9.0.