Big picture: Semi-finals almost certain for Trans-Tasman winner
Despite this, New Zealand can almost book a semi-final place – defying the predictions of many pundits – with a win over Australia in another interesting trans-Tasman contest. But it will not be easy as after a poor start to the tournament, fresh Australia are finally emerging as serious contenders for the title.
This match is an indicator of where both the teams stand in the title race and some doubts still surround them. While top four finishes are entirely possible for Australia and New Zealand regardless of the result, it seems there is a lot more to the rivalry in this trans-Tasman clash than it usually does.
Australia WWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
new zealand LWWWW
In the spotlight: Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Santner
spinner michel santner He has been an exceptional bowler in this tournament, taking 12 wickets at an economy of 4.25 and an average of 16.92. He has a good record by taking 17 wickets in 13 ODI matches against Australia. In comparison, his average of 26.41 and economy of 4.56 are better than his overall career marks. Santner will again be important in the middle overs and will be relied upon to curb Australia’s big-hitting middle-order.
Team News: Head and Stoinis may return, New Zealand unchanged
Travis Head has a few more days to recover from a hand injury and will be pushing for a return which could lead to a reshuffle at the top of the order. When he returns he is set to open the innings – a position he enjoyed for some time before his injury – and will replace Mitchell Marsh, who will move to number three. This forces Steven Smith, who has held the No. 3 spot for the best part of a decade, to move up to No. 4 with Marnus Labuschagne removed. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who missed the match against Netherlands due to calf injury, may return.
Australia (Probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steve Smith, 5 Josh Inglis (wk), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Marcus Stoinis/Cameron Green, 8 Pat Cummins (c), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
There are likely to be no changes to the New Zealand squad as Kane Williamson is still working on his recovery from injury, which means veteran fast bowler Tim Southee will once again be out, having recently suffered a thumb injury. Have recovered from the injury.
new zealand (Probable): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Rachin Ravindra, 4 Tom Latham (captain & wk), 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mark Chapman, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson , 11 Trent Bolt
pitch and conditions
Dharamsala has so far offered the most swing to the fast bowlers in the first 10 overs of each innings. In each of the last four World Cup matches at the ground, the team winning the toss has elected to bowl. Saturday is expected to be sunny and the maximum temperature is expected to be 21 degrees Celsius, which should be pleasant conditions for the day.
Statistics and General Knowledge
“I’ll do whatever the team wants. My record at three is pretty good, so I was kind of a little surprised, but I’ll do whatever I have to do for the team.”
steven smith He is likely to go to number 4 in the batting order.
Tristan Lavalette is a Perth-based journalist