Monday, January 30, 2017
Start time 1100 local (2200 GMT)
After nearly six years without a standalone Chappell-Hadlee series, Australia and New Zealand are about to embark on their third in 12 months. Last February, New Zealand won at home. In December, Australia swept their own home series 3-0. And now, they are in New Zealand to defend the trophy two months later. It is all a bit of a whirlwind, for Australia in particular. On Thursday, they were in Adelaide wrapping up a one-day series win against Pakistan. On Monday they will play New Zealand in Auckland. And straight after this series, several of their squad members head off for a Test tour of India.
Amid such a hectic schedule, it is perhaps not surprising that the selectors chose to rest the vice-captain David Warner, who they hope will be a key player in India and who has not missed an international in any format since the middle of last year. But an ankle injury suffered by captain Steven Smith in the Adelaide ODI last week threw a spanner into Australia's plans, forcing the hasty appointment of a stand-in skipper for these three games in New Zealand. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was given the honour, and will lead a squad that is at least full strength in the bowling department if not in the batting order.
New Zealand will see this series as a prime opportunity to regain the trophy, given the absence of Australia's two best batsmen. Warner in particular has been in breathtaking ODI form of late, his six hundreds in the format this summer - including two against New Zealand - propelling him to the No.1 batting ranking. Kane Williamson's men were disappointing in the series in Australia in December - the margins of 68 runs, 116 runs and 117 runs indicate just how disappointing - but on their home turf they will be a much greater threat.
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand: WWWLL
In the spotlight
Luke Ronchi's adductor injury meant a wicketkeeping question mark for New Zealand. The uncapped Tom Blundell is in the squad, but New Zealand have instead opted to hand the gloves in the first game to Tom Latham. To prepare for the role, Latham kept wicket during a Ford Trophy game on Saturday and completed two stumpings. Latham has previously kept wicket for New Zealand in three ODIs and four T20s, though he has not done so since 2013.
Australia are coming off a record opening partnership in their previous ODI, the 284-run stand between Warner and Travis Head against Pakistan. But a different opening pair will take the field in Auckland. Head might get the job again, but it is also possible that Australia will turn to Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, whose 246-run partnership against Scotland in 2013 made them the previous record-holders. Finch is keen to make himself a first-choice ODI player again after a lean patch led to his axing, while Marsh will be happy to be back in the national setup in any format for the first time in nearly three months, after recovering from a finger injury.
Ross Taylor returns to the ODI side having missed New Zealand's two series in December due to eye surgery. By giving Latham the wicketkeeping duties, the selectors have also opened up another middle-order spot that could either go to a specialist batsman or an allrounder.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Martin Guptill, 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 Matt Henry/Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult.
The absence of Smith and Warner will mean a minimum of two changes to Australia's XI from the side that beat Pakistan on Thursday. Whether or not Head opens again after his hundred in that match remains to be seen.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Peter Handscomb, 4 Travis Head, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Matthew Wade (capt & wk), 7 James Faulkner, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
Pitch and conditions
Eden Park's tiny boundaries often tempt batsmen, though as the low-scoring thriller between these sides during the 2015 World Cup showed, that does not necessarily equate to high totals. The forecast for Monday in Auckland is for a fine day and a top of 24C.
Stats and trivia
Wade will be the third wicketkeeper to captain Australia in ODIs; Adam Gilchrist led the team in 17 matches and Ian Healy stood in as captain eight times
New Zealand have won their past four ODIs at Eden Park, and two of those were against Australia
It is nearly four years since Australia have played an ODI without Smith, Warner and George Bailey - the last time was against West Indies at the MCG in February 2013
"We know we weren't at our best. We probably didn't have the resources that we've got available now."
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, reflecting on December's Chappell-Hadlee tour of Australia
"Steven and David have put their stamp on the team; it's just about me keeping driving those messages through to the players. We've performed really well in one-day cricket over a period of time, so it's not about trying to change too much, it's about keeping the ball rolling."
Matthew Wade on leading Australia in the absence of Smith and Warner