Well, after a back and forth series, we head into the final game of the T20 series between New Zealand and Australia with everything on the line. Australia have fought back from 2-0 down to make it 2-2 and are in search of a third straight victory to take out the Trans-Tasman T20 series. The Aussies have found their groove recently while the home side have struggled and will need to lift. We are again in Wellington where Aaron Finch’s men have been playing well and will be keen to finish the series off with a win.
Wellington, New Zealand, Sunday, 10am AEST
After the early games it looked like it would be an easy series win for the Kiwis but the Aussies have fought back and the result now sits in the balance heading into Sunday’s final match. Australia seems to have turned a corner with their form and have finally found some runs at the top of the order, which has been backed up by some strong bowling performances as well. New Zealand have been poor with the bat in the last two matches and will need to show something if they want to avoid a home loss to their arch rivals. This match will be won with the bat in hand and it looks to be a cracker to close out the series.
It's no coincidence that the turnaround in form for Australia has coincided with a return in form by Australian captain Aaron Finch. In the 3rd T20, Finch built a base for Glenn Maxwell to launch from to post a massive score. Then in the 4th T20, Finch was the rock that allowed the Aussies to post a competitive target. The Aussies will want to see more from the likes of Wade and Marsh, but there have been useful contributions from most of the other batsmen. If their batting fires again, the Aussies have shown they can put pressure on the Kiwis in the run chase. Riley Meredith has looked quick and Ashton Agar is starting to get back to his best. The Aussies have enough firepower to get the job done in Wellington.
How good is it to see the form of the skipper Aaron Finch. He looks to have turned a corner with back-to-back half centruries and I don’t see why we should jump off him here. Finch is the kind of player who can get on a roll and could easily post another good score here today. We obviously know he has the talent and he’s found that much needed confidence and could just go on with it now. He looks to have no issues facing the NZ bowling attack and I am happy to back him again here today. Looks the obvious form player of this Aussie side and is clearly loving the way this Wellington wicket is playing. At around the $4 I don’t see any reason to jump off and Finchy can lead the way again for an in-form Australian side.
Martin Guptill has been in up and down form recently but he looks close to a big score. His recent 90 odd showed what he is capable of and I am happy to stick with him here today. In an inexperienced Kiwi batting lineup, Guptill will need to be at his blistering best for his side to be a chance today. If he can see out some early pressure from Australia’s quality opening bowlers, Guptill will be able to cash in later and do some damage with the field spread. The whole series so far, New Zealand have struggled to find consistency throughout their innings and I think we need to jump at the opportunity with Guptill being one of the few internationally experienced batsmen at the top of the order.
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