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New Zealand are doing reasonably well in the 2023 world cup, living up to the expectations of cricketing fans around the world.
They’ve lost just one of their five games so far, suffering a narrow defeat to hosts India this week.
The Kiwis are third on the points table with eight points in hand, just above Pat Cummins and co. The Kangaroos are on the fourth spot after securing a win over Pakistan. They have four points in the bag after winning two of their four world-cup games so far.
Australia vs New Zealand: Head-to-head record
In theri 141 meetings in ODIs, Australia have an upper hand with 95 wins as opposed to NZ’s 39. In ODI World Cups alone, the stats stand at 8-3 for Australia.
The last time they played an ODI series, Australia swept New Zealand 3-0 in September 2022. They won the first ODI by two wickets, second by 113 runs and the final by 25 runs.
This shows that the Kangaroos haven’t had much trouble beating the Kiwis in 50-over games in general. Will the equation come into the game on Saturday?
Players to keep an eye on
Here are some list of players you need to be aware of for Australia vs New Zealand match.
With two centuries in this tournament so far, David Warner is definitely a player teams will watch out for and strategize against.
He’s a player who likes to boss pace bowlers from the initial phase of the game, giving no respect to big names and punishing their bad deliveries from the get go.
With over 200 runs already in the tournament, he is likely to score a lot more in the upcoming games.
He is familiar with conditions in India and make most of his experience to not just do well himself, but help other teammates as well with comparatively lesser outings in sub-content.
Rachin Ravindra is someone who has appeared out of nowhere in the mega event after months of being under the radar. He was an all-rounder who left a big impression on the cricket fans with a match-winning century in the opening game of this world cup against England.
He has been elevated to number 3 in the tournament and has been quite impressive with the bat and ball both. Once coupled with Mitchell Santner in the spin department, the bowling duo makes it extremely tricky for the batters to get going.
With the bat, he has already become the fifth-leading run-getter in the world cup with 290 runs in five innings. He’s averaging just over 72, which is more than handy for an all-rounder.
The Kiwis will need the 23-year-old to be at his best once again when they clash with the team that snatched the world cup trophy from them in the 2015 finals.
With a century over the Netherlands, Glenn Maxwell just became the fastest centurion in the history of ODI world cups. The all-rounder has announced himself in India with a brilliant knock just when his team needed someone to accelerate in the late overs.
His wrist works and ability to hit 360 degrees makes him a sheer threat for any opposition. While the NZ bowlers are a fiery attack, they will have a hard time keeping the likes of Maxwell under the radar.
He doesn’t waste much time with the bat when he is out there in the middle.
Maxwell likes to score boundaries rather than tiring his legs with rotation of strike. The Royal Challengers Bangalore star took his time to go big in India, a place whose conditions he’s quite familiar with due to his immense experience in the Indian Premier League.
Santner’s flight has been his key weapon in the tournament with which he tends to deceive the batters. Batters greedy for boundaries try to smack him around only to fall prey to his plan.
This has helped the left-arm orthodox spinner fetch a whopping 12 wickets in five games. He’s sitting pretty on the bowling charts as the highest wicket-taker of the world cup, so far.
Using his experience with Chennai Super Kings, he has adjusted well to almost every wicket he has played on in India.
If he continues his supreme form against Australia, the Kangaroos will have a tough time even knocking him around for singles.
Australia’s lone warrior in the spin department, Adam Zampa, is tasked with a huge responsibility in the middle overs.
His couplet with Maxwell has been economical. Generally, we have seen Maxwell restrict batters from scoring runs freely and Zampa comes and lures them in his trap of hitting big shots.
This strategy has been working well for Australia as we saw against Pakistan where Zampa got the crucial wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed just at the right time to change the game in his team’s favour.
Australia vs New Zealand: Match prediction
The records favour the Kangaroos, but the current form gives New Zealand an edge over Pat Cummins’ unit.
New Zealand seems like a complete unit in every department. They have been bowling well, playing attacking shots with the bat and fielding brilliantly to shun good shots in their bowling.
Australia has, however, been very average in their fielding and somewhat with their bowling as well.
Their reliance on Adam Zampa may hurt them if the leg spinner is not having his best day out there in the middle since Glenn Maxwell is not a specialist spinner who can bowl as effectively as Zampa.
Whereas, the NZ openers, the pace attack, their spinners, everything seems to be going just fine.
Hence, New Zealand are firm favourites to beat Australia on Saturday.