Australia v New Zealand, Twenty20 International, Sydney February 14, 2009

Haddin steps up for new-look Australia

Match facts


Brad Haddin has taken on another role by assuming the captaincy duties for Sunday's Twenty20 at the SCG © Getty Images
 
Sunday, February 15
Start time 7.35pm (08.35 GMT)

The Big Picture

The four-year anniversary of the inaugural Twenty20 international falls on Tuesday, and the original combatants, Australia and New Zealand, will again face-off. The format has certainly come a long way since the New Zealanders took to Eden Park in figure-hugging retro uniforms and handlebar moustaches, providing players with not only an extra avenue in which to represent their country, but also the opportunity to perform before potential Indian suitors.

T20 form guide

Australia - WWLLL
New Zealand - LLWWW

Team news

Australian audiences may have cause to double-take when casting an eye over the squad for Sunday's match at the SCG. With an average age of 26, this is the youngest team Australia have turned out in recent memory, indicating the selectors' desire to inject new blood into the national squad. Michael Clarke (back) and Mitchell Johnson (ankle) have been rested ahead of the Test squad's departure for South Africa on Monday, paving the way for Brad Haddin to captain his country for the first time. The Victoria batsman Rob Quiney has received his maiden call-up.

Australia (from) Brad Haddin (capt), David Warner, David Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Moises Henriques, Adam Voges, James Hopes, Cameron White, Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Rob Quiney.

The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy decider may have been abandoned due to rain, but the match - reduced to 22-overs a side - gave New Zealand a sound hit-out before the Twenty20 encounter. Martin Guptill's unbeaten 64 from 34 balls might have sealed the series for the visitors had the heavens not opened, particularly with Brendon Diamanti (26 not out from 22 balls) providing strong support. Diamanti has held his place after Kyle Mills withdrew with an Achilles injury. Ross Taylor is struggling with a hamstring problem but is expected to play.

New Zealand (from) Daniel Vettori (capt), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Grant Elliott, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Brendon Diamanti, Iain O'Brien, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

Watch out for ...

Brad Haddin will not be high on the New Zealanders' Christmas card list after this series, and his rapport with Daniel Vettori at the coin-toss will make for fascinating viewing. Haddin has been in tremendous form of late, and may have found a permanent home for himself atop the Australian order. In his first outing as captain, Haddin will be desperate to close out the summer on a positive note.

Martin Guptill was in sublime touch during the rain-effected match on Friday, and could again prove a major top-order weapon. With wristy, inventive strokeplay and superb timing, Guptill terrorised the bowlers at the Gabba. He has proven a solid Twenty20 performer for Auckland, although this will be his first 20-over match at international level.

Pitch & conditions

Recent rain should enliven the SCG pitch, although the surface could flatten by the time of the match with the Australia and New Zealand women's teams scheduled to play a Twenty20 curtain raiser. Intermittent showers are predicted throughout the day.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia have won both the Twenty20 internationals they have played against New Zealand
  • Brendon McCullum is the second-highest run-scorer in Twenty20 internationals (396), but has done so at the modest average of 24.75. He is also the most capped (18) player in the format
  • Ricky Ponting's 98 not out against New Zealand in the first ever Twenty20 international in 2005 remains the second-highest individual total in the format. Only Chris Gayle (117 against South Africa in 2007) has posted a larger score

Quotes

"The few games [for Victoria] leading up to it weren't too crash hot, but I feel like I'm hitting the ball well and the longer you're out there the better you get. I'm nervous now already thinking about [playing for Australia]."
Rob Quiney

"[Haddin] is just a captain, cricket captains don't really go head to head. They just shake hands and flip the coin. It's pretty easy really."
Daniel Vettori

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo