Australia and New Zealand are set to show a good fight in the Champions Trophy. They were the finalists of 2015 World Cup which was held in Australia and New Zealand. Whenever these two sides take on each other, the home side end up as winners. Australia have won all matches at home against New Zealand from 2015. New Zealand have won all games against them at home in the same period.
In December, Aussies were crowned Chappell-Hadlee Trophy winners by 3-0. A month later when the series took place in New Zealand, the Blackcaps got the trophy back by 2-0 series victory.
The previous time they met in an ODI at netrual venue was at this very ground, Edgbaston in 2013 Champions Trophy. But the match was washed out.
Australia’s recent ODI series was against Pakistan at home which they won by 4-1. New Zealand had few players missing in the Ireland tri-series but did win the trophy.
The Blackcaps were outplayed by India in their first warm-up game. But they chased 356 against Sri Lanka to add boost before the tournament. Aussies, on the otherhand, chased 319 against the Lankans and then their next warm-up against Pakistan went washed out.
Australia have fiery bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson. It seems like Pattinson is likely to sit out. Chris Lynn will get a game and may bat in the middle-order.
New Zealand have a lot of fast bowling options. They have to decide whether they will take an additional allrounder or take another paceman. Questions are also there on selection of Tom Latham or Luke Ronchi.
Australia: (likely XI) David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Matthew Wade (wk), John Hastings/Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood
New Zealand: (likely XI) Martin Guptill, Tom Latham/Luke Ronchi (wk), Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme/Adam Milne/Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com