Australia v New Zealand 2008-09 / News

Australia v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Brisbane

Trophy comes down to one match

Peter English

February 12, 2009

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Match facts


Last time Tim Southee was in Brisbane his swing bowling shocked Australia © Getty Images
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Friday, February 13
Start time 1.15pm (03.15 GMT)

The Big Picture

Despite four matches in two weeks, the Chappell-Hadlee Series comes down to one game. After New Zealand earned a surprise 2-0 lead, they gave up the next two contests to an Australian side playing in a more familiar style, with their big-name run-makers re-emerging from hibernation and the bowlers finding more ways to subdue the fighting, but under-manned tourists.

However, New Zealand remain surprised and pleased to be in with a chance of winning. No matter what happens in this game, the young side will go home with extra belief after up-ending the hosts in such a dramatic way early in the series. The fast bowlers will have extra responsibility on a friendly surface and must delay Australia's opening batting charges if they are to have a chance of lifting the trophy they last won in 2006-07.

Australia's players, who were hurt and upset by the initial defeats, roared back in Sydney and Adelaide, and will be intent on not wasting this hard-earned position. Ricky Ponting might end the Australian campaign with a trophy - his only team prize so far this season came during the Test series against New Zealand - but it won't be enough to mask the most disappointing home summer since he entered the Australian set-up in 1995-96.

ODI form guide

Australia - WWLLL
New Zealand - LLWWW

Team news

Michael Clarke, who has struggled with a hand problem since December, is now battling an upper-back injury and did not train during the optional session on Thursday. If Clarke isn't fit, Australia will consider picking Peter Siddle in a bowler-heavy squad, leaving James Hopes as an opening option. In a rare sign of consistency Australia fielded an unchanged outfit on Tuesday - for the first time in 17 matches - and Ricky Ponting would prefer not to make any more alterations.

Australia (probable) 1 Michael Clarke, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 Cameron White, 8 James Hopes, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus.

Brendon McCullum's shoulder will not stop him from playing and Daniel Vettori's hamstring is fine, so New Zealand's only choice is between using the extra batsman in Craig Cumming and employing slow-bowling support for Vettori. Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, was left out in Adelaide but even though the Gabba is made for quicks, the extra bounce might tempt them to return to the dual spin that was successful in the opening two games.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Peter Fulton, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Neil Broom, 7 Kyle Mills, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Tim Southee, 10 Jeetan Patel, 11 Iain O'Brien.

Watch out for ...

By the high standards of Nathan Bracken, now the world's No. 3 one-day bowler behind Daniel Vettori and Nuwan Kulasekara, it hasn't been the best series. He has taken seven wickets in four games, but in the past two matches has been expensive, giving up 65 runs in Sydney and 51 in Adelaide. Bracken, who was wearing a knee brace on his right leg, took an early look at the pitch on Thursday, folding his arms as he gazed over the surface, before loping off the ground. It should help him.

When Tim Southee was last in Brisbane he shocked Australia's top order with three wickets in the first eight overs of the opening Test and his swing bowling should be nasty again, especially if New Zealand bowl second. As the lights start to take effect the ball seams around even more. If Southee can get his outswinger working he will be a huge threat and Kyle Mills and Iain O'Brien will also enjoy things.

Pitch & conditions

The Gabba outfield almost looks like it did last summer after overcoming a fungus that made it seem more like a club ground than an international venue. Only one strip isn't lush and green: the pitch is straw-coloured with a few tinges for the bowlers. It was steamy and muggy as the teams trained on Thursday and similar conditions, including a shower, are predicted for match day.

Stats and trivia

  • Ricky Ponting will move ahead of Allan Border's Australian record of 178 ODIs in charge. Ponting has overseen 132 victories at a winning percentage of 78.23, compared to Border's 61.42% and Steve Waugh's 65.23% in 106 contests.
  • The last time the sides were in Brisbane for the decider of a Chappell-Hadlee Series the match was washed out and the trophy was shared
  • In the past three years New Zealand have won 22 of 36 games chasing and 16 of 32 when batting first
  • In 15 matches as opener, Michael Clarke averages 48.07, six runs higher than usual, and has a strike-rate of 84.45, almost five better than lower down the order

Quotes

"It's a final-type game, 2-2 going into it, it's a big game for both sides. What we've done in the last couple of games has pleased me a lot, so hopefully there's some steady improvement again."
Ricky Ponting

"I don't think many people would have put us in this situation, but from where we've come, from being 2-0 up, if we went on to lose I'd be disappointed."
Daniel Vettori

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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