New Zealand v Australia, 4th ODI, Auckland March 10, 2010

Australia eye Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

The Preview

Match Facts

Thursday, March 11
Start time 1400 (0100 GMT)

The Big Picture

The most important match of the series, as the players described it, went to Australia. They now hold a 2-1 lead with two matches to play and victory in Auckland will ensure they retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy that they won at home in December 2007 and retained through a drawn series in Australia last February. Their win on Tuesday in Hamilton was easily their most complete performance of the tour as their bowlers fired early and dismissed New Zealand, before the top-order batsmen clicked and a centurion was found. Michael Clarke's dash home to see his fiancée didn't upset their balance and they will be looking to turn the final game in Wellington into a dead rubber.

New Zealand have only ever won the Chappell-Hadlee Series outright on one occasion, when they triumphed in a 3-0 clean-sweep at home in early 2007. Their chances of back-to-back home wins rest on this game. They have been hurt over the past two matches by injuries to key players: Ross Taylor (leg) and James Franklin (hamstring) in the second game and then Daryl Tuffey (calf) in the third match. The loss of Franklin in particular disturbed their team balance and they could have used another bowling option on Tuesday. But there is promising news ahead of Thursday's fourth ODI.

"Ross Taylor seems to have got through yesterday well and Tuffey and Franklin look a lot better," the coach Mark Greatbatch said on Wednesday. "I think you'll see some changes if those guys are fit. We got a bit of a lesson [in Hamilton], it was probably our worst game of the series. We need to readjust and go back and look to try and counteract what they put in front of us."

Form guide (most recent first)

New Zealand LLWWW
Australia WWLWN

Watch out for...

Ross Taylor returned from injury to post a handy 62 in Hamilton and he will be intent on pushing on in Auckland. Taylor's quick run-getting worries the Australians and if he can drag some of his team-mates along with him it will keep the pressure on. Should Taylor and Brendon McCullum fire together, it will be gripping viewing.

Ryan Harris is never going to be the side's most trendy player, but he is currently incredibly effective. His 3 for 48 in Hamilton took his tally for the season to 27 wickets in 10 games. For a bowler who has appeared in only 11 ODIs it's a stunning record. He doesn't look fast, but he is.

Team news

New Zealand have some injury worries but have not cut any players from the squad. So they have 15 men in the group and any number of combinations is possible, depending on whether Franklin or Tuffey, or both, recover in time for Thursday's game. Either way, it's unlikely that Shanan Stewart will be able to force his way in after Taylor's successful return from a leg problem. If Franklin is fit, Neil Broom could be the man to miss out after a lean start to the series.

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

Clarke has gone home and has been replaced in the squad by the Tasmania batsman George Bailey but after the thumping win in Hamilton it's hard to see any changes being made to Australia's starting line-up.

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

Pitch and conditions

New Zealand enjoy this small ground, which doubles as a rugby union field, and think their local knowledge is a big bonus. "There's some funny angles, I like it for the areas I hit," Gareth Hopkins said. "Dan [Vettori] likes it as well. Most of our grounds are smaller than [Australia are] used to. You're never out of the game, so we believe that." Some evening showers are predicted on Thursday night, with a top of 24C and a minimum of 16C.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have won 28 of 61 ODIs at Eden Park, but only three of those successes have occurred in the past five years
  • Daniel Vettori, who scored 70 there on Saturday, is only 155 runs short of joining the elite ODI group of players to have 2000 runs and 200 wickets. There are currently only 11 other members
  • Cameron White's strike-rate of 221.05 from his 42 off 19 balls in 2007 is the second highest strike-rate for an innings at the stadium, but it didn't help Australia win


    "They're 2-1 up, we've got two to win. We're not thinking about Wellington, we're thinking about Auckland. We just need to go longer and better over the next 100 overs."
    Mark Greatbatch

    "The momentum if there's any to be taken out of this game is with us. If we start the game strongly on Thursday hopefully the momentum continues for us there."
    Ricky Ponting after Tuesday's win

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • damian on March 11, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    its the hardest job in the world being a blackcaps supporter.

  • Sam on March 10, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    I agree that Broom should go and think BJ Watling is the guy to replace him. The current line up is not quite right but in typical NZ fashion it is many contributions that make a competitive total not a couple of big scores. With that logic in mind: McCullum, Watling, Guptill, Taylor, Styris, Hopkins, Vettori, Franklin, Tuffey, Southee, Bond. Providing all are fit I think this is the best NZ can do without the services of Ryder, Elliott, McKay and Oram. NZ don't have the luxury of specialists due to the comparatively small talent pool to Australia. What they do have to their advantage is a team that consists of many all-rounders. Vettori, Franklin, Styris and Guptill can all swing the bat and bowl effectively and that is just the current, injury ravaged, team.

  • Jeremy on March 10, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    Why are no series planned in advance for NZ later this year? Has anyone else noticed that this match, and the next one in Wellington, are NZ's last two (scheduled) ODI matches before the Cricket World Cup in Feb 2011? Far out. We play the t20 world cup in April/May, and that is it for the rest of this year??!! I'm guessing/hoping that something will be sorted out for Nov-Jan...? Usually these things are known a year in advance.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    i have to agree about the massive gap in new zealand's batting lineup. they desperately need a class player or two to hold the batting together. dont even call mccullum's name-he really isnt consistent enough. a match winner, but what happens when he or ross taylor dont fire?

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    what s happening to all the teams now a days, they are playing 2 wicket keepers all the time??????.........

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Our batting line-up is too thin with 2 keepers in the side.

    Nothing against Hopkins - he's done a job down the order - but we need a proper batsman to bolster the top order. I'd give Shannan Stewart a go, but the selectors wont be that brave with the series on the line.

    Ingram and Mason just look wrong. Ugly players. The sooner we are rid of them the better. Get Kane Williamson in there, or even BJ Watling or one of the Marshalls. I would have picked G.Aldridge ahead of Mason - but soon we'll have Kyle Mills and Andy McKay back so that should see the end of Mason for good.

    Sorry to be so critical - those 2 players have done well to get to the highest level so full credit to them. I just think we can do better.

    Oh - one more moan - Eden Park is a terrible ground for cricket.

  • Simon on March 10, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    Shane Bond has been relatively quite up to now. If he fires like he's shown he can, the Kiwis weak batting won't matter...

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    when is BJ Watling going to be given a chance, 145 runs in his last game against auckland isnt enough?

  • Parthiban on March 10, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    I want the match to be a 'nail bitter' , I think NZ Middle order is weak , they r not able to play 50 overs fully. and for Broom he needs to be dropped....and also they hav to drop Ingram,I Jus cant even watch him play.....and Guptill Needs consistecy.

  • hayden on March 10, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    good to see harris in the test team, he deserves his success after slugging it out for cellar dwellar south australia for years! is it coincidence that he makes the aussie team almost straight after joing queensland?

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