A Trans-Tasman derby in Dharamshala – that’s what it will be when Australia and New Zealand clash in the World T20 on Friday, 18 March.
This is the first match for Australia while New Zealand opened their tournament account by shocking tournament favourites and hosts India the pitch is expected to be completely different from the low, raging turner of Nagpur that the Kiwis played, the match makes for an interesting encounter.
Despite the issues surrounding where players will be in their batting line up, Australia is considered to be one of the favourites in this tournament. With David Warner accommodated in the middle order, it will be either Usman Khawaja or Aaron Finch to play at the top. Finch has a great record in T20s but Khawaja is in red hot form. It is a problem Australia is lucky to have and will enjoy throughout the tournament.
Australia will enter the match with plenty of all-rounders at their disposal with Shave Watson, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh creating a compelling combination along with the dangerous batting skills of Glenn Maxwell. Steve Smith will be looking to utilize the trick up his sleeve in Adam Zampa who is a young leg spinner.
For the Kiwis, it is all about finding their momentum after Brendon McCullum’s retirement and they did it in style. Kane Williamson’s team was given no chance but their spin trio of Nathan McCullum, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner spiraled them to an unexpected victory.
The bouncier track in Dharamshala should see the return of Trent Boult and Tim Southee to the team. However, the Aussie’s problems facing leg spinners is well documented and it could sway them to keep Sodhi in the final XI. Will they come out swinging their bats at the top like they did against India? Martin Guptill could shy away from that plan after he started with a six first ball before he was sent packing the next.
New Zealand may not be the bookies’ favourites but they certainly will be confident after their first game. Backing them for a win isn’t a bad choice at all – odds of 2.39 with Sportsbet.
Williamson will be crucial once again at the top and back him to be their best batsman – odds of 3.5 with Sportsbet.
While Warner could be the best bet for the Aussies – odds of 4.5 with Sportsbet. Watch out for Glenn Maxwell though who could be the X-factor in the game.
The picturesque Dharamshala will provide completely contrasting conditions to Nagpur. For the Kiwis it is all about carrying the momentum while for the Aussies it is about starting one. Who will come out top?
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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