Match facts


Grant Elliott has been a thorn in Australia's side in the past two games © Getty Images
 
Tuesday, February 10
Start time 1.45pm (03.15 GMT)

The Big Picture

Australia avoided handing back the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in Sydney but a New Zealand win in Adelaide would be enough for the prize to change hands, while Australia could level at 2-2. Ricky Ponting's impassioned plea to the selectors to allow him to return to the side instead of resting indicated how seriously he takes the series and after Australia lost the prize in 2006-07 when he also sat out, he was desperate for the situation not to repeat itself.

The batting began to click at the SCG, where Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke were thrust together as a makeshift opening pair and put on 135 for the first wicket. It was Australia's best opening partnership since the World Cup final in 2007, when Adam Gilchrist destroyed Sri Lanka's hopes of winning the title and took Matthew Hayden along for the ride.

New Zealand have relied on their spinners Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel to dry up the runs in the middle overs but the plan didn't work in Sydney and there will be no margin for error in Adelaide, where the short boundaries attract hungry batsmen. At that venue three months ago they were soundly beaten in a Test but the memories will be quickly forgotten if they wrap up a series win and take back the trophy.

ODI form guide

Australia - WLLLL
New Zealand - LWWWN

Team news

After a few more misses than hits in his short international career, David Warner has been left out of the squad and will return to New South Wales, where he has still not made his first-class debut. The success of Haddin and Clarke as an opening pair has hardened the top order and the main batting question is how long David Hussey and Cameron White will be given to justify their positions while Adam Voges remains in the squad. Peter Siddle has joined the group and after taking a one-day career-best of 4 for 27 for Victoria on Saturday he is a strong chance to make his ODI debut.

Australia (possible) 1 Michael Clarke, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Cameron White, 7 Callum Ferguson, 8 James Hopes, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus/Peter Siddle.

Brendon McCullum was scheduled to have scans on Monday on his right shoulder after being struck by a rearing Kyle Mills delivery while standing up to the stumps. McCullum had pain-killing injections and dropped down to No. 9 but he was still able to strike a quick 36, giving the New Zealanders hope that he might be fit for Tuesday. The back-up wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins has been flown in as cover and McCullum said that while he was desperate to play, he would leave the decision until his injury had been assessed. "I always want to play and take the aggressive attitude and take the field," McCullum told NZPA on Monday. "But you've also got to do the sensible thing, and until such time as we get the actual information about what is going on, it's hard to make any sort of judgment."

New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Peter Fulton, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Neil Broom, 7 Kyle Mills, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Tim Southee, 10 Jeetan Patel, 11 Iain O'Brien.

Watch out for ...

Michael Hussey has not had his most productive summer but the runs are starting to flow and in his past four innings he has made 78, 49, 75 and 51. He has been especially valuable in a middle order that has struggled and, perhaps more importantly, Australia will be pleased he is finding form ahead of the tour of South Africa. For the time being, Hussey is a key figure in Australia's bid to level the one-day series.

If New Zealand were asked prior to the series to nominate the batsman likely to cause Australia the most trouble, Grant Elliott would not have been at the head of the list. He entered the tour with his only experience against Australia being a miserable contribution in the Gabba Test this season. A calm, unbeaten 61 at the MCG secured New Zealand's 2-0 lead and his 115 in Sydney kept their hopes of a 3-0 victory alive.

Pitch & conditions

Less than a month ago, Adelaide was the venue of what Ricky Ponting described as his team's worst performance of the summer. They were bundled out for 222 and then could do little as South Africa chased down the target in the 39th over. Most frustrating for Ponting was that it happened on a good batting pitch, as is nearly always provided at the Adelaide Oval. There should be plenty of runs available this time and the conditions will be comfortable, with 23C the top temperature expected.

Stats and trivia

  • Brad Haddin is in form after making his first ODI century on Sunday and New Zealand will be concerned about him at Adelaide Oval, where he destroyed them in November's Test match when he made 169
  • Grant Elliott's 115 in the SCG match was the second-highest ever by a New Zealand player in an ODI in Australia
  • Nathan Bracken will be playing his 100th one-day international
  • The teams have played each other eight times in ODIs at the Adelaide Oval for four wins each

Quotes

"We can't afford to get carried away with one win, but hopefully a bit of confidence will carry over to Adelaide."
Ricky Ponting

"We know we're in a good space, we know we're playing some good cricket, and the only way we win against Australia is if we put all three components together. Unfortunately we didn't do all three [in Sydney]."
Daniel Vettori

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo