New Zealand v Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton

'Most important game' for injury-hit NZ

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

March 8, 2010

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts


Michael Hussey guides the ball towards point, New Zealand v Australia, 2nd ODI, Auckland, March 6, 2010
Michael Hussey has opened the series with two half-centuries © Getty Images
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Tuesday, March 9
Start time 1400 (0100 GMT)

The Big Picture

Chappell-Hadlee matches have a habit of being close and the opening two games of this series have been no exception. With a couple of overs remaining in each clash, either side could have won and a 1-1 scoreline is fitting. The Auckland encounter didn't feature the heated mood that simmered over in Napier, when Mitchell Johnson and Scott Styris clashed, but there remains some tension and the crowds have been vocal in their feelings towards the Australians.

Much of the focus for the New Zealand camp has been their injury worries, with James Franklin and Ross Taylor added to the casualty list on the weekend. They are already unable to pick Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliott, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler or Andy McKay due to injuries. It has left the team short and they would be keen for fringe players like Neil Broom and Peter Ingram to step up in the remaining games.

"I'm happy but as a captain [you get] sick of having to test depth issues," Vettori said. "We want our full team available as often as possible and it hurts you. But it's created opportunities. You look at the likes of a Gareth Hopkins who has come in and performed very well on his few chances. Maybe there are opportunities there but I think it would be better if it was 15 fully-fit guys competing for places."

Form guide (most recent first)

New Zealand LWWWW
Australia WLWNW

Watch out for...

Mr Cricket has become Mr Consistency over the past six months. Michael Hussey is sometimes overlooked amid discussions of Australia's recent one-day success but it's an unfair omission. He is the world's No. 2 ranked ODI batsman and remarkably has reached double-figures in every one of his past 19 one-day international innings. In that time he has made eight half-centuries and is averaging 63.21. He has also carried the burden of often coming in when the top-order has stumbled and he has been under pressure to steady the innings.

If Hussey is Mr Cricket, Daniel Vettori is Mr New Zealand Cricket. He is a man of many roles but the most crucial are the basics - No. 1 bowler and increasingly key batsman. In Auckland, his counter-attacking 70 nearly got New Zealand home after he had taken 2 for 43. Few players worldwide are more critical to their team's success than Vettori, even if they did win without him in Napier.

Team news

Finding 11 fit players is half the battle for New Zealand. They lost Jacob Oram to a knee injury in the first game and on Saturday, Taylor didn't play due to a leg problem and Franklin hobbled off with a hamstring injury. Taylor and Franklin are considered 50-50 chances for this game, although Franklin's all-round requirements mean they could be more cautious in resting him. Vettori will play again despite his stiff neck and he could be joined by the uncapped batsman Shanan Stewart, who was called in to cover for Taylor. Gareth Hopkins will keep wickets again due to Brendon McCullum's sore back.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Peter Ingram, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor/Shanan Stewart, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Scott Styris, 7 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Daryl Tuffey, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Shane Bond.

The Australians will be without their vice-captain Michael Clarke for an indefinite period, who's returning home for personal reasons, which means Adam Voges will play. A possible change is the potential inclusion of the fast man Clint McKay. Following a boom home summer, Doug Bollinger has had a couple of busts in New Zealand and could sit out of this one.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Adam Voges, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Clint McKay.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have an excellent record at Seddon Park, where they have won 10 of the 13 ODIs they have played. Australia have never beaten New Zealand at the venue
  • Australia's win on Saturday was their first victory in a Chappell-Hadlee Series match in New Zealand since December 2005
  • The Australians have now won 30 of the 41 ODIs they have played over the past year. Nathan Hauritz has taken part in the most games, missing only one
  • New Zealand have won 10 of 19 they have played in the same period. Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum are the only men to have taken part in every game

    Quotes

    "It's probably the most important game of the series. The team that can go 2-1 up only needs to win one more to take out the series so we're trying to put everything in to this game."
    Daniel Vettori

    "A lot of us are getting 40s and 50s and some pretty good starts, and getting competitive totals like yesterday. But it's pretty important we start putting some big scores together and start batting New Zealand out of the game."
    Brad Haddin

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by cheesemethod on (March 9, 2010, 2:30 GMT)

Well at least NZ have forced ponting to change his "always bat first" theory. Not that surprised really! Aus will chase down these runs no worries, unfortunately

Posted by revdanichols on (March 9, 2010, 0:50 GMT)

Great to see so much go spirit in these comments - all cricket fans, no-one having a go or mentioning under-arm…

y2jabroni - as an Aussie I can confirm that Watto is just about the most unpopular bloke in the country. FIGJAM would be an appropriate nickname. The main interest in the test series over the summer was in him not getting his hundred. In fact, much of this team hasn't really captured the hearts of the public, probably due to their filthy behaviour v India a few years ago.

But yes, Aussie fans have no injuries to complain about. We all knew about Pups lack of ticker, but Lee is finished and Bracken only seems to be in the team so people watch the AB Medal.

Heres hoping that we get a good-close game of cricket, much respect to NZ - easily the best TEAM going around, as opposed to the best group of players. Vettori for President of the World.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2010, 23:59 GMT)

"It's probably the most important game of the series. The team that can go 2-1 up only needs to win one more to take out the series so we're trying to put everything in to this game."

Thanks for that, Dan.

Posted by renegademaster on (March 8, 2010, 23:58 GMT)

NZ would wipe the floor with Australia if they hadn't had such a rotten run of injuries. Aussies know that, too. They should go back to playing the Windies 12 times a year to make crybabies like Johnson and Watson feel better about themselves. Go the Black Caps - the next ODI world champions.

Posted by Rooboy on (March 8, 2010, 23:54 GMT)

Loving this tour. I would rather see Aus lose in the types of games we are seeing, than watch them win game after game by 100 runs etc as we saw for most of the summer so far. Some good efforts by several players, but Daniel Vettori is just a stand out. Fantastic to see two sides go hard at each other on the field without the whining, blame, and victim mentality associated with some other international teams ...

Posted by cheesemethod on (March 8, 2010, 23:50 GMT)

and lets not forget the CH series last year in Australia. NZ didn't win it but they won the first 2 games, more than can be said about any of their other opposition. Test matches are a different story. NZ doesn't have a true pacey strike test bowler. Aus will dominate the tests.

Neil Broom is a proven domestic player with huge scores which DOES justify selection. Its a matter of moving his game to international level. Past players like Fulton and Sinclair have similar problems, both of them are still scoring huge in domestic but play without confidence at int. level. I'm not sure hopkins is the right pick unless they really plan on keeping mccullum away from the sticks. Better to get an allrounder in there.

Posted by Boonys_army on (March 8, 2010, 23:26 GMT)

Ok ok, I'll give you Kiwi's credit where its due. You make a good ODI team when playin us Aussies. It is one one the best series we have especially when playin in NZ on a cold Autumn evening. I will say this though, Australia 'A' will go close to beating the top Aussie XI, the depth is so good that you would barely notice the difference.

Posted by Blearyeyes on (March 8, 2010, 22:57 GMT)

@amdtelrunya, Gareth Hopkins may have been only averaging 8 or whatever for his ODI career, but he played very well in the 20/20 including a key partnership with McCullum, and batted well in the last ODI too under considerable pressure. And his keeping has been pretty tidy. So when Vettori talks about him having done well form few chances, it is these latest innings he is referring to. He's certainly done better than some of the so-called specialist batsmen like Broom or Ingram. The guy is nuggety and doesn't give his wicket away cheaply like certain others tend to do!

Posted by Rukus_NZ on (March 8, 2010, 21:43 GMT)

LoL boonys army, sounds like you have had a couple too many VBs on the plane there ;) some of the players you mentioned that are not avaliable have not been playing for some time, such as bracken and lee.. Clarke is out due to personal reasons also, and hasnt been in the best form in ODI format

You are right in hinting towards australia having better depth, but saying Aus A will beat us when clearly thier top teams have been close to losing and hav elost games, it taking it a bit far ;)

If NZ takes the series which could happen, would you still say the same thing?

Posted by lancsjohn on (March 8, 2010, 21:40 GMT)

I agree Its okay for NZ to say they arent able to field their first choice team due to injury. but Aussie too have the exact same problem. Convenient to not recognise this.

Good series and NZ punching far above their wieght . looking forward to todays game.

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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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