17/04/2024

Aaron Finch will be hoping to find consistent form with the bat as the Aussies take on New Zealand. (Photo: Cricket Australia)

Australia will open up their World Cup campaign at the SCG on Saturday. In what is a rematch of last year’s final, Australia will be looking to start the tournament on the right foot against New Zealand.

Coming into the World Cup as defending champions, Australia is looking to become the first team to win consecutive T20 World Cups. In addition, with the home fans cheering them on, they will be expected to go far in the tournament.

Their opposition, New Zealand are looking for revenge after last year’s World Cup final. After a successful 2021 World Cup campaign they were decimated by the Aussies in the final, which caused emotions to run high in the team camp.

In classic Sydney style, the rain will play a major role in the T20 match between Australia and New Zealand. As heavy thunderstorms are predicted for the whole of Saturday, both teams will have to adjust to the playing conditions. Whoever adjusts to the terrible weather will no doubt walk away with the win.

“If there is rain around and the game shortens, that can dictate what you do with your team, but we’re really confident that all the stuff that we’ve done in the lead-up to this, that there’s enough bases that we can cover with our squad,” Aaron Finch explained to media on Friday.

As the weather is meant to continually change from light to heavy rain, both teams will need to think of the right strategy to tackle the game. Throughout the game, each country will be asking themselves many questions with both bat and ball.

Do they put their biggest hitters in first or do they use their normal batting line-up? Who do they ball first or keep in the bag? What is the right strategy to win the game?

Glenn Maxwell is just one player who can hit a six off his first delivery. (Photo: Cricket Australia)

Australian captain Aaron Finch believes his team is ready for the challenge. Boasting a versatile team, their squad consists of players that can hit a six off their first ball like Glenn Maxwell or solidify an innings like Steve Smith.

Finch spoke about how he thinks this will give the Aussies the edge.

“I think most teams are pretty flexible and pretty adaptable to playing a couple of different ways,” he said.

“There are some guys who are serious power hitters who don’t take any boundary into consideration because they know, if they get it out of the middle, it’s going to go for six anyway.”

Both teams will name their starting team hours before the game begins. With the 11 players set in stone, both countries are still able to shuffle their batting order.

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According to captain Kane Williamson, New Zealand will have a full squad to choose from apart from Daryl Mitchell who will be unavailable due to injury. Having not won in Australia for over 10 years, they are ready to upset the favourites.

Just like Finch, Williamson is unsure of what line-up New Zealand will bring to the game. It is all dependent on the amount of rain that occurs throughout Saturday.

“With the weather that’s been around, we’ll need to see the pitch too in terms of what that might have done to the preparation of the pitch,” Willamson said.

“Mother nature often has to play the part.”

Australia will play against New Zealand on Saturday to close out the opening day of the Super 12.

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