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The Preview by Peter English
March 5, 2010
Preview : Vettori in doubt for Auckland
News : 'Banter' to continue, says McCullum
News : Johnson and Styris fined for clash
News : Scott Styris hails comeback innings
Matches: New Zealand v Australia at Auckland
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of New Zealand
The Big Picture
It didn't take long for the New Zealand-Australia rivalry to turn fiery and an opening win for the hosts should lead to more animation from the visiting big brothers. Scott Styris led his team to a last over victory in Napier on Wednesday and his brutal innings included being on the receiving end of a nose-to-nose exchange with Mitchell Johnson.
Both teams expect more simmering over the remaining four games in the Chappell-Hadlee Series, which will give an indication of where the current Australians should be rated. Ricky Ponting's side is still No. 1, but its performances against West Indies are taking on new value now Chris Gayle's men are losing to Zimbabwe. New Zealand, the No. 4, are on a six-game winning streak after ending Australia's 12 ODI victories in a row.
The hosts are desperate for the return of Daniel Vettori in Auckland after he missed game one with a neck injury. Australia don't play Vettori well and he provides some crucial variety to an attack filled with medium pacers to follow the extreme pace of Shane Bond.
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Ross Taylor was captain for the first match and showed he could deal with the extra responsibility with a game-high 70 in the successful chase. While Taylor will hope Vettori returns, New Zealand will be satisfied that their No.2 can juggle all the jobs. Australia will just want him out because he averages 40 against them in 18 ODIs.
Until Mitchell Johnson headbutted Styris' helmet it was Shane Watson who was the target of the local fans. That will change and it will be fascinating to see how Johnson, a usually shy personality, deals with the extra attention after he was fined 60% of his match fee. Johnson is Australia's most experienced one-day bowler, but New Zealand aren't one of his favourite teams. His 16 wickets against them have come at 39.25 and he goes at 5.36 an over. Both numbers are considerably higher than his career records.
Team newsJacob Oram was helped off the ground at Napier after hurting his left knee and the result was a tear of the patella tendon, ruling him out for up to a month. A neck problem is still troubling Vettori, who didn't bat or bowl at training on Friday, and Nathan McCullum is on standby. If Vettori is cleared he can come into the spot left by Oram. Michael Mason, the Central Districts bowler, has joined the squad as bowling cover.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Peter Ingram, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 James Franklin, 6 Neil Broom, 7 Scott Styris, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Daryl Tuffey, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Shane Bond.
Australia don't have much room to move in their 13-man squad, with Adam Voges and Clint McKay the only back-up options. They should keep faith in the same side but their batsmen are under orders not to waste their starts.
Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Pitch and conditionsEden Park has a current capacity of 12,000 and the match will be a sell-out. It is another rugby ground, meaning some of the boundaries are tiny. The top temperature is expected to be 26C and there is a chance of an afternoon shower.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"We've got a little bit of work to do before the next game."
''They're obviously going to come back twice as hard now and we're just going to have to step up again.''
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