New Zealand vs Australia 3rd T20I: Preview and Prediction

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Travis Head was the top-scorer in the second T20I as he scored 45 runs off 22 deliveries

Mitchell Santner’s New Zealand will host the Australian cricket team at Eden Park, Auckland on Sunday in the last T20I of the three-match series. The Blackcaps have already lost the series due to the two disappointing losses they suffered in the initial matches. 

However, the hosts will be looking forward to avoiding a whitewash at home. Adding to the troubles, Devon Conway has suffered a thumb injury recently. Fortunately, Conway’s X-ray cleared him of a fracture but he’s likely to miss the third T20I.

What have they done so far?

In December, New Zealand hosted Bangladesh in a three-match T20I series, which ended 1-1. Bangladesh’s win was historic as it was their first T20I win over the Blackcaps in New Zealand. Later in January, they defeated Pakistan 4-1 in a five-match T20I series.

On the other side, Australia lost a five-match series 4-1 against the Men in Blue on Indian soil in November. Earlier this month, they locked horns against the West Indies in a three-match series, which they won 2-1 before they travelled to New Zealand. 

In the first T20I of the series, the hosts won the toss and they decided to bat first. Finn Allen lost his wicket during the powerplay but half-centuries from Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra guided the Blackcaps to a mammoth total of 215 runs. 

Adam Milne gave New Zealand a decent start by dismissing Travis Head in the fourth over. However, Australian captain Mitchell Marsh stood strong as he scored 72 runs off 44 deliveries. Nevertheless, Tim David stole the show in the end as he handed the Aussies an unforgettable triumph by scoring 31 runs off only 10 balls. 

In the second match, the Blackcaps elected to field first after winning the toss. Lockie Ferguson played a crucial role with his economical bowling as the right-arm fast bowler leaked only 12 runs in 3.5 overs and took four wickets. With a 45-run gritty innings by Head and some support from Marsh and Cummins, Australia posted a total of 175 runs for New Zealand. 

During the match, Conway walked off the field owing to a thumb injury. Due to a lack of in-form batters, the top-order of the Blackcaps collapsed miserably. Phillips tried pulling the Blackcaps back into the match but the hosts got all-out on a total of 102 runs losing the match by 72 runs. 

Head to Head Record

New Zealand and Australia have played a total of 18 matches against each other. The Aussies have fairly been the dominant side in the rivalry as they have recorded 12 wins while the Blackcaps have only managed to walk out victorious on six occasions. 

Key Players

Lockie Ferguson has taken five wickets in two matches against Australia

Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand): Lockie Ferguson has been in stellar form for New Zealand in the T20I series yet. In the first match, the right-arm fast bowler dismissed Glenn Maxwell and conceded 23 runs in four overs. 

In the second match, Ferguson gave an astonishing bowling performance as he dismissed Steve Smith, Josh Inglis, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood, leaking only 12 runs in 3.5 overs. Hence, with the possible absence of in-form batters, Ferguson will be playing an important role for New Zealand. 

Mitchell Marsh (Australia): Australian captain Mitchell Marsh has been a crucial part of the team in every aspect of the game. Leading the Australian team from the front, Marsh won the Player of the Match accolade in the first T20I as he scored 72 runs and also dismissed Devon Conway. 

In the second match, he scored 26 runs off 21 deliveries and then also bowled three overs, conceding 18 runs and taking the wicket of Mark Chapman. The skipper has already helped the Aussies leap in the series by winning the two matches. Hence, he will be looking forward to guiding the Aussies to a dominant 3-0 win in the series. 

Predicted XIs

New Zealand: Will Young, Finn Allen (wk), Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santnar ©, Josh Clarkson, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Ben Sears, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Australia: Travis Head, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh ©, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood


New Zealand’s transition into the shortest format of cricket from the test, where they defeated South Africa 2-0, didn’t turn out to be successful as they had already lost their grasp on the T20I series. However, without a few of their top stars, the Blackcaps are expected to suffer a whitewash at home.