New Zealand vs Australia – 1st T20 International Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is New Zealand vs Australia taking place? Monday, February 22nd, 2021 – 06:00 (UK)

Where is New Zealand vs Australia taking place? Hagley Oval, Christchurch

What is the expected weather for New Zealand vs Australia? 25c with sunshine forecast

What channel is New Zealand vs Australia on? The match will be televised live on BT Sport 1

Where can I stream New Zealand vs Australia? The match can be streamed live the BT Sport app and website

LAST MEETING
Australia beat New Zealand by 19 runs (D/L method)

THE TEAM NEWS

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand return to T20 action for the first time this year but they will be confident against their neighbours having won their last two series against the West Indies and Pakistan at the back end of 2020.
  • They will be motivated against their arch-rivals and will also be keen to kick off their T20 matches in style in what is a World Cup year and they have all of their big names available for this series.
  • There is no place for Scott Kuggeleijn while star bowler Lockie Ferguson is the only real injury absentee so the selectors will have to assess conditions and decide whether Mitch Santner or Mark Chapman come in to replace him or potentially Hamish Bennett.

AUSTRALIA

  • Australia come into this five-game T20 series having undergone some disruption with their plans for the national team after their tour of South Africa was cancelled but they will be eager to do well in this format of the game.
  • Mitch Starc, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith are all missing as they were due to be part of the South African series and they have not altered their plans and they are using this series to experiment a little.
  • Josh Philippe is set to make his debut here partnering skipper Aaron Finch at the top of the order while the only real dilemma is who will be handed a chance at number six between Mitch Marsh, Ashton Turner and Ben McDermott.

THE PREDICTION

This promises to be a fascinating T20 series between neighbours New Zealand and Australia as both camps come off domestic T20 competitions so form should be strong ahead of this opener. New Zealand arguably have the stronger of the two sides at their disposal as Australia are missing a whole host of players. The visitors should not be underestimated however as they still have plenty of quality in their ranks and the players that will play will know they have a golden chance to impress selectors. The Blackcap frontline bowlers such as Southee, Boult and Jamieson have all been in good form and they should just have the edge when it comes to the conditions to give the hosts an edge in this opening game.

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