Trans-Tasman rivalry is renewed at Edgbaston on Friday as Australia take on New Zealand in the Champions Trophy.
The two southern hemisphere sides contested the last World Cup final, and both will fancy their chances of taking home the trophy – but plenty will rest on the result of tomorrow’s ODI clash.
Only two go through from each group, and with hosts England also lurking in Group A, defeat could make qualification for either very tricky indeed.
Since that 2015 World Cup final, the pair have met each other in two ODI series – Australia winning the matches in Australia, and New Zealand coming out on top in their own backyard.
How they will fare on neutral soil remains to be seen.
Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /var/www/html/wp-content/themes/sportsbet/assets/wp/post-formats/format.php on line 19
Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /var/www/html/wp-content/themes/sportsbet/assets/wp/post-formats/format.php on line 22
Australia come into this match as favourites – though their players are in the middle of a pay dispute with their board.
Part of the argument is that they are being undervalued for what they do – so lifting the trophy in two weeks’ time will prove their worth to their paymasters.
In David Warner they have arguably the world’s best ODI batsman (he’s made 1,409 runs in the format over the past year), and bowler in Mitchell Starc (129 ODI wickets at less than 20 apiece). They certainly have the ability to go far in this competition.
New Zealand, so thrilling at the World Cup, will also fancy their chances.
Their new ball attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult can take wickets in spades, and Kane Williamson is one of the classiest batsmen going.
My only concern is a lack of batting depth outside Williamson and Ross Taylor – something that could be exploited by Australia’s fearsome bowling line up of Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
I can see plenty of runs being scored, and the Aussies coming out on top.