On Wednesday (3rd March), the hosts New Zealand and the visitors Australia will meet for the third game of this five-match T20I series at Westpac Stadium (Wellington).
Currently, the home team is leading this series by a 2-0 margin with three matches to go. Blackcaps won the first game of this series by 53 runs while they have extended their lead in this home T20I series by winning the next game by just 4 runs.
The hosts New Zealand have won both the first two games of this series and another victory will help to secure this T20I series for them. Currently, they are in superb form at home.
After a long struggle, Martin Guptill finally showed his dangerous batting form in the last T20I where he scored 97 runs. Meanwhile, Devon Conway and captain Kane Williamson are currently in great form with the bat. Before getting out for just 2 runs, Conway scored five consecutive T20 50s (50, 69*, 91*, 93* and 99*), including three straight unbeaten 90s.
On the other hand, the bowlers can’t keep silent Kane Williamson’s bat for consecutive matches. While he scored 53 runs in the last T20I, it was his 5th 50+ score in the last eight T20s.
James Neesham is now very consistent as an all-rounder, who scored 45 not out off 16 balls in the last T20I before picking up two wickets in his only over of that match (2/10).
New Zealand spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner both have bagged 5 wickets each in this series. Also, the pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult are in good form with the ball in hand.
Kane Williamson (C), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
Recent T20I form (oldest to latest): Won, Won, Lost, Won and Won
While the visitors Australia have lost both the first two matches of this T20I series, including the close defeat in the last gamẹ, another defeat will end their all hope to win this away T20I series.
Australia are hugely struggling in T20 cricket while their top-order batsmen are struggling to provide strong starts. Though a few of their middle-order batsmen fought hard in both the last two matches, those were not enough for their chasings. Mitchell Marsh scored crucial 45 runs in the opening game of this series while Marcus Stoinis’ 78 off 37 balls and Josh Philippe’s 45 runs (32 balls) and lower-middle-order batsman Daniel Sams’ 41 off just 15 balls stunningly brought the visitors back into the game, but their brilliant contributions just went in vain.
Among their bowlers, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams are in good touch as all of them have bagged three wickets each in this series.
Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
Recent T20I form (oldest to latest): Lost, Lost, Won, Lost and Lost
The hosts New Zealand are in outstanding form while the visitors Australia are continuously struggling in this shorter format.
While New Zealand are leading this T20I series by the 2-0 margin, they are very much favourite to secure this series by winning this third game of this series.
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