New Zealand vs Australia 1st T20I: Preview and Prediction

unnamed   2024 02 21T110010.950
New Zealand to Face Australia in the 1st T20I on February 21st

An electrifying and riveting three-match series of 20 overs each between New Zealand and Australia is set to commence with the inaugural match scheduled at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on Wednesday.

Mitchell Santner will lead the Blackcaps in the absence of Kane Williamson, who will miss the series due to paternity leave while Mitchell Marsh assumes the captaincy for the Australian side, marking the first clash between the two teams in this format in approximately 16 months.

Australia has bolstered its squad by including their premier pace duo, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, for this pivotal series, both of whom last featured in a T20I match during the 2022 ICC Men’s T20I World Cup.

Aaron Hardie, who was brought in as a replacement for Marcus Stoinis, has also been ruled out due to a calf injury, paving the way for Spencer Johnson to join the squad. Additionally, Australia’s vice-captain Matthew Wade will be unavailable for the first T20I.

Prior to the series, the Blackcaps’ Matt Henry and Tim Seifert were sidelined due to their respective injuries. While the fast bowler complained of soreness on the hip, the wicket-keeper batter suffered a torn adductor. The duo would make way for Ben Sears and Will Young to join the squad.

What have they done so far?

In the closing days of 2023, the Blackcaps faced Bangladesh in a 3-match T20I series. The series kicked off with Bangladesh securing their inaugural T20I win in New Zealand, claiming victory by 5 wickets. The second match succumbed to rain, resulting in a washout, but the Blackcaps rebounded in the final T20I, triumphing by 17 runs to level the series at 1-1.

After a break, the Blackcaps played a compelling 5-match T20I series against Pakistan at home. They won the first three matches batting first and sealed the fourth with a 7-wicket victory. However, Pakistan salvaged a win in the final T20I.

Australia played a challenging 5-match away T20I series against India in November with a second-string team. India claimed victories in the first two matches, but Australia bounced back, securing the third game with a stellar performance by Glenn Maxwell. The last two matches, however, swung in favor of India.

Australia recently won the series against the West Indies 2-1

In a recent showdown, Australia clashed against the West Indies in a three-match home T20I series. The hosts asserted their dominance by clinching back-to-back wins in Hobart and Adelaide to claim the series lead. However, the visitors stunned Australia with a resounding 37-run victory in Perth.

Head to Head Record

In the Trans-Tasman T20I rivalry, a total of 16 matches have been contested, with Australia emerging victorious in 10 encounters and the Blackcaps securing victories in the remaining 6 matches. Notably, when playing on home soil in New Zealand, the hosts have triumphed 4 times, while Australia has claimed victory 6 times.

Key Players 

Finn Allen (New Zealand): Finn Allen showcased impeccable form against Pakistan, amassing an impressive 275 runs in 5 innings, boasting a stellar average of 55 and an extraordinary strike rate of 195. His recent series performance, including a century and a fifty, highlights his prowess as the Blackcaps’ top T20I batter.

As the sole Blackcaps batter in the Top 10 ICC Rankings for T20Is, Allen’s dominance extends to his home turf, where he accumulated 542 runs in 18 innings at an average of 30.11 and a striking strike rate close to 170. Anticipations are high for him to continue his hard-hitting ability in the upcoming match.

Warner won the Player of the Series award in the T20I series against West Indies

David Warner (Australia): David Warner bid farewell to T20I cricket on home soil, now focusing on away fixtures to culminate his international career on a high note. Riding on a wave of scorching form witnessed against West Indies, where he plundered 173 runs in 3 innings at an average of 57.67 and a striking strike rate of 166.35, Warner emerges as a formidable threat to the hosts.

Despite a relatively modest T20I record against the Blackcaps, accumulating 216 runs in 9 matches at an average of 24 and a strike rate of 148.9, Warner’s performance in New Zealand has been exceptional. 

With an average of 30.75 in 4 matches and a blistering strike rate of 183.58, he stands as a towering figure, showcasing his highest proficiency on New Zealand soil compared to any other country.

Predicted XIs

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner ©, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson

Australia: David Warner, Josh Inglis (wk), Mitchell Marsh ©, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Nathan Ellis


Having an average score of 152 runs on this ground, the team winning the toss will look to chase the target. Considering Australia’s brilliant T20I record at Wellington, the visitors could take an early lead in the series.