New Zealand's chance to give McCullum victorious ODI exit
February 8, 2016
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)
Brendon McCullum's one-day international career ends on Monday in Hamilton, and it ends with a chance to lift the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. The World Cup eluded McCullum and his men last summer but the Chappell-Hadlee would be some sort of consolation, a piece of silverware that means a lot to the New Zealanders given their neighbourly rivalry with the Australians. It was against Australia that McCullum's ODI career began at the SCG back in January 2002. He shared his debut with Australia's Ryan Campbell and it is fascinating to compare their careers. McCullum has played more than 400 internationals but will not be part of the upcoming World T20; Campbell has not played international cricket since 2002 but now at 44 is in Hong Kong's squad for the World T20.
Monday is the Waitangi Day public holiday in New Zealand, and combined with McCullum's farewell and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy being up for grabs, it is no surprise that tickets for this third ODI at Seddon Park have sold out. For Australia, the challenge is to crash New Zealand's day of national celebration by carrying on the form that they showed during the second ODI in Wellington. Not that there isn't room for improvement - single-figure scores to Steven Smith, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell left them in a quandary after the 122-run opening stand between David Warner and Usman Khawaja. But Mitchell Marsh and John Hastings steered them to an important victory, not only keeping the series alive but giving Australia a much-needed morale boost ahead of the Test series, after five successive losses to India and New Zealand across the ODI and T20 formats.
New Zealand: LWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Look at the raw figures and it has been a pretty good series for Mitchell Santner. From two matches he has 80 runs without being dismissed and has taken 5 for 47 from 10.2 overs. Santner has been an important batsman in the lower order, steering New Zealand to competitive totals in both games, and his bowling brought New Zealand back into the contest in Wellington after the big opening partnership between Usman Khawaja and David Warner. Now the Hamilton-born Santner gets his first opportunity to play a one-day international on his home ground of Seddon Park. He will be most disappointed, therefore, if he does not recover enough from the pain he experienced in his right foot following the second ODI to play this one.*
Million-dollar Mitchell Marsh might have grabbed the headlines on Saturday but the efforts of John Hastings to help Australia to victory in Wellington cannot be underestimated. Australia were 197 for 6 when he walked to the crease to join Marsh and while they had plenty of time to get the remaining 85 runs in their chase, they were running out of wickets. Hastings played the perfect support innings and finished unbeaten on 48, having earlier played a key restricting role with the ball when his ten overs cost only 42 runs. This summer has been something of a career renaissance for Hastings, who had faded from international cricket after 2011-12. He may lack genuine pace but is a clever bowler who keeps the runs down, and was also the leading wicket taker in the recent Australia-India ODI series. Hastings started the summer not in Australia's ODI squad; he has now made himself impossible to drop. His form spike was also a case of perfect timing - it brought him approximately AU$270,000 in Saturday's IPL auction.
New Zealand were unchanged in Wellington and there appears little reason to alter the side for the decider. Unless Santner is not declared fit to play. They have brought legspinner Ish Sodhi into the squad as cover.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (capt), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Henry Nicholls, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Adam Milne, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Trent Boult
Kane Richardson was a late withdrawal from the second match due to back soreness and he has now been sent home for further assessment. Joel Paris, the left-armer who made his ODI debut against India last month, has joined the squad as cover for the final ODI, having already been in New Zealand as part of the Western Australia side for the Sheffield Shield match in Lincoln. However, there is every chance Australia will be unchanged after their win.
Australia (possible) 1 Usman Khawaja, 2 David Warner, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 George Bailey, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 John Hastings, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Scott Boland, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Pitch and conditions
The Seddon Park pitch is usually good for batting in limited-overs matches, and the forecast for Hamilton is for a fine day and a top temperature of 27C.
Stats and trivia
- McCullum will finish third on New Zealand's all-time ODI appearance list behind Daniel Vettori and Stephen Fleming, and third on their runs tally behind Fleming and Nathan Astle
- Last time a Chappell-Hadlee series came down to the last match was in 2008-09 when the teams were 2-2 heading to Brisbane - the final ODI was washed out and Australia retained the trophy
- The second match in Wellington was Billy Bowden's 200th ODI as an on-field umpire; Rudi Koertzen (209) is the only other man to have reached that milestone
"It's a big moment for Baz and all the guys that have played with him for so long but the focus is certainly on the game tomorrow."
Kane Williamson says the New Zealanders won't be distracted by McCullum's farewell
*05.15GMT, February 7: The preview was updated after news of Mitchell Santner's niggle came in.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale