Australia v NZ, Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston

Shaky Australia in trans-Tasman clash

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

June 11, 2013

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey fancies a little tennis as Mitchell Marsh and Phil Hughes watch at a practice session before their match against New Zealand, Edgbaston, June 11, 2013
Australia's batsmen folded meekly against England and will need to put up a much better show against New Zealand to survive in the tournament © Getty Images
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Match facts

Wednesday, June 12, Edgbaston
Start time 1030 (0930 GMT)

Big Picture

At the last Champions Trophy, Australia beat New Zealand in the final to secure their second consecutive title. This year, the two teams meet with Australia's tournament all but on the line. A loss in their opening match against England has left the Australians vulnerable and should they lose to New Zealand, they would not only have to beat Sri Lanka next Monday but they would also need England to lose their remaining two matches to have any hope of scraping through to the semi-finals. Even then, it would come down to net run-rate. Should New Zealand win their progression is not certain, although it would take a similarly intricate series of results for them to miss out to England and Sri Lanka on net run-rate. An Australian victory would keep things fairly even throughout the group.

However, the Australians will need to overcome New Zealand without their captain Michael Clarke, who has been ruled out due to a back injury that has plagued him since he arrived in England. The more significant long-term worry will be his availability for the Ashes which follow after. David Warner is a real concern as well, having scored ducks in the two warm-up matches, followed by 9 against England. New Zealand's cordon will be well advised to be on high alert early in Warner's innings, given the way he has been slashing and edging of late.

New Zealand also have an injury concern around a senior player, with Daniel Vettori likely to miss out having had a saline injection in his troublesome left Achilles tendon. "You only have to look at him. He's limping and is a bit ginger walking around the field," the New Zealand fast bowler, Kyle Mills, said on Monday. "He's been doing it since his teenage years at this level and his body is tired. He shows tremendous toughness and hopefully he can rise to the occasion for these next games to get us over the line. He looked jovial getting his toast and cereal at breakfast this morning, but there's obviously a lot of discomfort."

Form guide

(most recent first, last five completed games)

New Zealand: WLWWL
Australia: LWWWW

Watch out for...

Less than five years ago, Luke Ronchi made his debut for Australia against West Indies. During that series he scored a 22-ball half-century, the fourth fastest ODI fifty by an Australia player. Now he is about to line up against his former country for the first time, having qualified for his birth nation of New Zealand earlier this year. Ronchi's initial forays into the New Zealand side have brought few runs, but against familiar Australian bowlers, he will be keen to prove that he can be a long-term force at the top of the order.

Since George Bailey made his ODI debut in March last year, only Ian Bell and Tillakaratne Dilshan have scored more one-day international runs than his 819 at an average of 45.50. During the one-day series in England last year, Bailey was the one shining light in Australia's batting order and again during their loss to Alastair Cook's men on Saturday he was the top scorer with 55. Bailey is a capable stand-in captain and a reliable presence in the middle order, but he needs significantly greater support if Australia are to progress to the next stage of this tournament.

Team news

If Vettori is put on ice, New Zealand would likely bring in Colin Munro or Grant Elliott, although Elliott's availability would also depend on how well he has recovered from a calf injury.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Luke Ronchi (wk), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 James Franklin, 6 Brendon McCullum (capt), 7 Colin Munro / Grant Elliott, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan.

Clarke will again miss out, but Australia have a few backup options in the batting department, unless they want to give Glenn Maxwell a go in place of fellow allrounder Mitchell Marsh. Xavier Doherty might also come under consideration, although the potential for rain on Wednesday could discourage the selectors from bringing him in.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Mitchell Marsh / Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc / Xavier Doherty, 11 Clint McKay.

Pitch and conditions

Both matches at Edgbaston so far have been won with relative comfort by the team batting first, for scoring appears to become tougher as the matches wear on. There is some rain expected around the Birmingham region on Wednesday and the forecast is for a high of 17°C.

Stats and trivia

  • Kyle Mills will be the outright leading wicket-taker in Champions Trophy history if he claims one more victim. Prior to this match, he stands equal with Muttiah Muralitharan on 24 wickets

  • New Zealand and Australia have not met in a one-day international since the 2011 World Cup

  • Australia have not lost to New Zealand in a world tournament since the 1999 World Cup

Quotes

"All their top order will be feeling the heat a little bit to not only win the game but also hold their spot in the team. If we can take advantage of that I'm sure it will bode well for us in those pressure situations."
Kyle Mills, New Zealand fast bowler

"If it continues to be dry, we need to consider a spinner. We need to get the balance right. We need to get partnerships going."
Australia's captain George Bailey after the loss to England

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by liz1558 on (June 12, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge - agreed. I would go further - this looks like the equal worst Australia team - with the 1985 lot - to tour England. As long as the weather holds, England should retain the Ashes 4/5-0. A far cry from the every-man-a-prize-fighting-champ team of 2001 that annihilated a pretty good England side.

Posted by Syed.Baqar on (June 12, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

well.............. the "Oracle" has spoken already............ Australia wins today but the final will be between India and England and Of Course india will win...... not to forget............. India WILL defeat Pakistan in the upcoming match as well............ well played BCCI :) Mark my words people and instead of wasting time ......lets just work in our offices! lol

Posted by brusselslion on (June 12, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

@jonesy2 on (June 12, 2013, 5:35 GMT): I assume that your list of excuses is now almost exhausted? (Resorting to complaining about the English summer!! Welcome aboard; you join 60m locals!).

Anyway, I do think that you have a point: What with India preparing 'doctored' weather earlier this year and England doing the same now, cricket has turned into a farce. We all know that given the right weather conditions (23.91745333c; humidity 59.12999%) the current Australia side(s) are the finest that have ever lived.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 12, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

So what's your point @jonesy2? Aus. just came over to cool down? Didn't bring enough woolly jumpers with them?

Australia's best bowler (Clint McKay) is in the team, so it looks as if they do care and want to try and do well. But then again, they do insist on neglecting a wicket-keeper and spinners and decent batsmen, so maybe you're right...

Posted by Sunman81 on (June 12, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

Looks like Aussies have a forced change with Warner and this could prove be a blessing in disguise for them... Replacing him with Maxwell will also give them a bowling option... I think this will be a close contest... Could be watson's day!

Posted by   on (June 12, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

LOL!! The Black Caps (as that is the team's name) have an INNATE (not inept, lol) ability to put the opposition under pressure... and Ronchi's ability to get runs will only aid us (NZ) in the sense that, hitherto, he hasn't got any and we still have gone alright. So if he does get runs, we should amass or chase a reasonable total....

Now that that is out of the way... the match, as far as the Black Caps are concerned, revolves around the performances of NZ's big three with the bat (Guptill, Taylor, McCullum), whilst a good 50 from Williamson in support of them would be a huge bonus. Then, with the ball, NZ actually have a very handy (on their day) pace attack of McClenaghan, Mills and Southee.

For Australia, it is Watson who, versus NZ, seems to lead the way for them when they win.... so cheap scores from Watson and Warner (and perhaps, but unlikely, a rare failure from Bailey) will go a long way to ensuring a Kiwi vistory. Go the true underdogs... go the Black Caps!! 8-)

Posted by Otuwa on (June 12, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

Now Aussie team is looks like the Lion without teeth.Remember old stars like Gilly,Hayden,Ponting,Martyn,Symonds,Hussey,Lehman,Bevan,Warne,Lee,Mcgrath,Gillespe.OMG what a team that was.

Posted by Rick_T on (June 12, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Prakhar Jain - While it may not exactly be a "do or die" situation for Australia, it is pretty close. If NZ win today, the following things have to happen for AUS to make the semis. Firstly, NZ must beat ENG (for simplicity, let's say 50% chance). Also, AUS must beat SRI (again, let's say 50%). Also, SRI must beat ENG (say 50% again). So 50% x 50% x 50% = 12.5% just to be equal with SRI & ENG. Then, only 1 of the 3 would make the semis so 12.5% x 33.3% = 4.17%. In other words, if AUS lose today, I would want odds of at least 23:1 (96.8 : 4.2) to consider backing them to make the semis. Or, if you put $100 on them, you would get $2,400 back. Not impossible but pretty close to do or die.

Posted by Suresh123456 on (June 12, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

@ Hammond ... thats brilliant buddy.. how did u calculate and arrive at at 37.3 % ( such a precision ooops) ... kindly elaborate and enlighten poor soul like me..

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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