|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
The Preview by Peter English
March 12, 2010
News : Greatbatch demands batting improvement
Report : Australia secure Chappell-Hadlee Trophy
News : Ponting savours series turnaround
News : Vettori criticises batting display
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of New Zealand
The Big Picture
The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy was sealed by Australia in Auckland on Thursday, leaving Saturday's fifth game a dead rubber. There is more for New Zealand to gain in the last encounter before the two-Test series and their batting is the area where most work is needed.
New Zealand were dismissed for 238 in the 45th over in game four and Australia breezed past the rain-affected target of 200 with 17 balls to spare. Once again the hosts will look to Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor for big contributions, and it will be interesting to see whether Daniel Vettori keeps his spot at No.6 following his promotion.
Ricky Ponting never likes to relax when an international win is on offer and will chase a 4-1 result to gain more momentum heading into the Tests. The first game of that series starts in Wellington next Friday before the second match in Hamilton the following week.
Form guide (most recent first)New Zealand LLLWW
Watch out for...Daniel Vettori has managed to take on even more responsibility by moving himself up the order. The switch didn't work in Auckland, where he got 12, but he was still a threat with the ball and collected two wickets. New Zealand need him to do even more in the final match.
Doug Bollinger hasn't had a great time in New Zealand but he remains a threat and is chasing some form before the Tests. Bollinger owns three wickets in the four games and has been going at more than six an over. He knows he can do much better.
Team newsThe offspinner Nathan McCullum is being looked at for a spot in what would be his first match of the series. James Franklin has been struggling with a leg injury and didn't do much on Thursday, so he could make way. Shanan Stewart scored 4 on his debut but should get another go, especially as the series prize has gone.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Ross Taylor, 4 Shanan Stewart, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Daniel Vettori (capt), 7 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Daryl Tuffey, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Shane Bond.
Ryan Harris is battling a toe injury so he will almost certainly be rested and Clint McKay will come in for his opening game of the tour. George Bailey, the Tasmanian who replaced Michael Clarke, will also come into consideration, while Shane Watson or Michael Hussey could be given extra time to focus on the Test series.
Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Cameron White, 5 Adam Voges, 6 George Bailey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Pitch and conditionsThe ground in Wellington is much bigger than the one in Auckland, so the batsmen will have to work a bit harder for their boundaries. In the Twenty20 at the start of the tour New Zealand were dismissed for 118 and Australia recorded a six-wicket win. The weather should be fine with a top of 20C and a minimum of 12C.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Our side is not world class, we're ranked fourth in the world, they're ranked first."
"We've re-grouped really well since we've been here. With the short turnaround at times between games, it's been a good effort to turn things around like we have. Hopefully we can finish the series on a good note."
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history