The T20I series started off with the kiwis dominating the visitors-Australia, winning the match by 53 runs. The second match saw the kiwis once again score a mammoth total of 219 runs but the Aussies this time around were not ready to let go that easy. They did fight back hard but once again ended up on the losing side by a narrow margin of 4 runs.
The match did promise us that the remainder of the series will be more intense and closely fought. Team Australia will be hoping they can bounce back in the 3rd T20I, which is scheduled to take place at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, this Wednesday.
The kiwis on the other side are just one win away from registering yet another series win at home. The series also stands to be important in terms of the ICC T20I ranking. A series win here for the visitors could see them pounce to the top of the table, replacing the current leaders-England. Kane Willaimson and Co. find themselves placed 6th now and a win here could see them jump up a few slots.
The last encounter witnessed kiwis opener- Martin Guptill play a stunning knock of 97 runs of 50 balls. He was accompanied by the ever placid- New Zealand Skipper Kane Williamson, who in his style scored a clinical 53 runs. With 219 runs on the board, the match looked sealed in favor of the hosts.
A late surge from the in-form all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams, who stitched together 93 runs for the 7th wickets looked like they were going to bail out the Aussies but eventually fell 4 runs short from what would have been a memorable victory.
Can kiwis wrap up the 5-match series by taking an invincible 3-0 lead? Or will Aaron Finch and Co. show the same intent as they did in the second T20I?
Match Toss Time: 18:30 Local (11:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:00 Local (11:30 IST)
Match Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
The forecast predicts a 10 percent precipitation but nothing that threatens the game. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 20-18 degree Celsius and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 75 percent range.
The pitch is expected to be a good strip to bat on. The last International match played at this venue was the rip-roaring encounter between India and New Zealand. The team winning the toss should be looking to bowl first given the chasing teams have tasted a better success rate at this venue.
New Zealand will be more than happy to feature the same playing Xl that featured in the first two matches. The team does look well balanced in both divisions. The only concern would be the form of their opener- Tim Seifert, who is yet to get going in this series. The rest of the team looks in prime form.
The visitors on the other side will be feeling more confident going into the third T20I. Josh Philippe showed glimpses of his potential by playing a fluent knock of 45.
Probable Playing Xl
New Zealand (NZ): Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Australia (AUS): Matthew Wade (wk), Aaron Finch (c), Josh Philippe, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Daniel Sams, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
NZ vs AUS Fantasy Team
Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Marcus Stoinis, James Neesham, Daniel Sams, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Jhye Richardson
Captain Picks: Marcus Stoinis (AUS), Martin Guptill (NZ)
Vice-captain Picks: Kane Williamson (NZ), Daniel Sams (AUS)
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