Australia will play New Zealand in the opening match of the Super 12 stage of this year’s T20I World Cup, where both teams have been drawn in Group 1, alongside England, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and one other team that will qualify from the first group competition. The match will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and will begin at 6 pm local time.
Unfortunately the weather forecast for the Sydney area on Saturday is not good, with heavy thunderstorms predicted. There is, therefore, a serious risk that the match may have to be abandoned, or, at best case, becomes a limited overs game.
- SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER 2022 – SCG, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Match: Super 12 – Match 1
- Event: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022
- Venue: SCG, Sydney
About the Australia vs New Zealand ICC T20 World Cup match
This eagerly awaited match not only signals the start of the World Cup for both countries, but it also a repeat of the last World Cup final which was played in Dubai last November.
On that occasion it was Australia who emerged the winners by 8 wickets, winning this particular trophy for the first time in their history. That was also the closest that New Zealand have come to winning the tournament as well.
There is literally little room for error for any of the teams at this stage of the competition. With just two from six qualifying for the knock-out stages, a loss, even at this early stage, could be a considerable setback.
Australia also lost their only warm-up match, which was a rematch against India in Brisbane, losing by six runs having put their opponents into bat.
Since winning the World Cup, Australia have played Sri Lanka home and away in T20 cricket, winning both.
They then travelled to India in September, although with a weakened squad, having chosen to leave some key players like David Warner at home to rest them ahead of the World Cup. That short tour began well with victory in the first match in Mohali, but they lost the next two games in Nagpur and Hyderabad.
Back at home they beat the West Indies in a two match series, but then found England (a group opponent for both these teams) a much tougher proposition. They lost the first two games and were seemingly heading for defeat in the third in Canberra before their blushes were saved by the intervention of the weather.
They also lost their only warm-up match, which was a rematch against India in Brisbane, losing by six runs having put their opponents into bat.
The weather has potentially robbed them of some home field advantage. There has been so much rain that pitches in Australia are greener and slower than usual, which means that not only is a premium now put on bowling, but also their quick bowlers, their main attacking threat, may be robbed of some of their potency.
New Zealand (Form)
New Zealand’s form coming into this competition can best be described as mixed.
They lost 3 – 0 against the West Indies in the Caribbean, and lost their match in the tri-nation series against Pakistan. However, they won the second match against them and beat Bangladesh, to earn the right to play Pakistan in the final of that competition.
That, though, ended in the disappointment of a further loss, and their World Cup warm-up match against South Africa did not go according to plan. They lost by nine wickets after being bowled out for just 98.
With their second match against India, a victim of the weather in Brisbane, morale is not necessarily high heading into this game.
Much may depend once again on their captain Kane Williamson, not only for his ability to lead the team, but also to provide stability to a batting order that has a tendency to crumble under pressure.
Australia v New Zealand Head to Head
The two teams have played each other 15 times previously in T20I cricket, and Australia leads their head to head series by ten matches to five. Perhaps significantly, the Aussies have a better away than home record – six of their wins were achieved there, and one at a neutral venue – that World Cup triumph of last year.
Australia v New Zealand Betting Odds
Australia v New Zealand T20 Betting Tip
Although their form might not have been as good as they would have hoped going into this match, Australia will still begin as favourites to begin the defence of their title with a win. They are playing at home after all, and will still have the backing of a traditionally vociferous local crowd, and are playing a side whose own morale may be damaged after recent reverses.
The nightmare scenario for both teams is if the match becomes affected by weather, or is even abandoned altogether. That could make the game into a lottery, the outcome of which could be highly uncertain.