Sunday, February 5, 2017
Start time 1100 local (2200 GMT)
The washout fiasco in Napier means that the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy comes down to this final match in Hamilton. If Australia win and force a 1-1 series result, then as the holders of the trophy they will retain it. If New Zealand win, they take possession of the trophy with a 2-0 series outcome. In fact, more than that is potentially on the line for Australia: if South Africa defeat Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on Saturday, then a loss to New Zealand would not only mean Australia giving up the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, but also the No.1 ODI ranking. In that case, South Africa would be the new No.1, Australia would slip to No. 2, and New Zealand would move up to No. 3.
Australia enter this match with a fourth-choice captain - Aaron Finch was given the job because Steven Smith is injured, vice-captain David Warner is resting, and stand-in Matthew Wade hurt his back on the eve of the series - and a batting line-up that requires significant improvement after game one. Focusing on the remarkable unbeaten 146 from Marcus Stoinis at No. 7 obscures the fact that none of the top six batsmen passed 20. And five members of the team - Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh - could be forgiven for having a lot on their minds, for straight after this game they will fly to Dubai to join the Test squad in a training camp ahead of their tour of India.
New Zealand, likewise, have injury concerns, with Martin Guptill ruled out due to a hamstring issue. But they had a wider group of batting contributors in the first match than Australia, with fifties from both Guptill and Neil Broom, and 48 from James Neesham. They will push for a series win in front of a capacity crowd at Hamilton's Seddon Park: it was announced on the eve of the match that tickets had sold out.
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand: WWWWL
In the spotlight
In a horses-for-courses approach, New Zealand have brought legspinner Ish Sodhi into the squad for the last match of the series. The selectors recalled the way Sodhi troubled the Australians in the corresponding ODI at the same venue last summer, when he picked up 2 for 31 and claimed the key wickets of Smith and Maxwell. Sodhi is also coming off some impressive form against Australians in another competition: in his final BBL match for the Adelaide Strikers, he took 6 for 11.
Through no fault of his own, Sam Heazlett has found himself at the centre of a debate about selection principles in the past week, given he has made his ODI debut without having played a one-day game for Queensland. But there is no question that Heazlett is a talented young batsman: he scored a century and two fifties in five one-day games for the National Performance Squad against South Africa A and India A last winter, and averaged 40 in his maiden Sheffield Shield season in 2015-16. The best thing Heazlett can do in Hamilton is clear his mind of all other matters and prove his worth with a focused batting display.
Guptill's injury means Dean Brownlie will play his first match for New Zealand since late 2014, and will open the batting. Sodhi has joined the group for this match and would likely be included in the XI. Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell has been released from the squad, and Tom Latham will again take the gloves.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Dean Brownlie, 2 Tom Latham (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Colin Munro, 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult.
Wade has departed the squad due to his back injury, so Finch will again captain and Handscomb will keep wicket. That should mean another opportunity for the young batsman Heazlett. Adam Zampa will be considered, especially given New Zealand's mulling over their own legspinner.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Travis Head, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Peter Handscomb (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sam Heazlett, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Pat Cummins/Adam Zampa, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
Pitch and conditions
When the teams played at Seddon Park at the same time of year last summer, New Zealand's first-innings 246 was more than adequate for victory on a dry, slowing pitch. The forecast for Sunday in Hamilton is for a fine day and a top temperate of 27C.
Stats and trivia
These teams have met in four ODIs in Hamilton - New Zealand have won three and Australia one
Australia boast four batsmen in the top 20 of the ICC's ODI rankings but only one of them - Glenn Maxwell - will play in this game. Smith is injured, Warner resting, and George Bailey dropped