Trans-Tasman rivalry on the 22 yard pitch



It’s going to be a blockbuster Friday in the ongoing ICC World T20, as cricket fans around the globe will witness one of the biggest rivalry at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) ground in Dharamshala, the Trans-Tasmanian rivalry on the 22 yard pitch between Australia and New Zealand. And one can just imagine the emotions and sentiments of the cricket fans across both the countries arousing in form of tears, the anxiety, when both the teams will clash on the field.

Australia vs New Zealand, ICC World T20, 2016

Australia vs New Zealand, ICC World T20, 2016

The atmosphere on the field will be much similar to that of the arch-rivals, India – Pakistan. And perhaps, anyone would have forgotten the nerve biting group stage fixture between Australia and New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2015, played at the Eden Park, when New Zealand who were sailing to victory with an ease while chasing a modest total of 151 runs put on the board by Australia. Which all of a sudden looked like an uphill task when the Aussies Pacer Mitchell Starc spellbind everyone with his astounding bowling performance, and took his best figures of 28-6 from his 9 over spell in that low scoring game.

New Zealand are riding high after defeating the tournament favorites and the host India in the first match of the group stage which was played at Nagpur’s VCA, where the star-studded Indian batting line up collapsed against the spin attack of New Zealand, which didn’t had the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. The Indian team not only lost the match, but also continued to trail against them by 0-5 respectively in all the T20 matches played against them. Moreover, after that win, the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson may go without the duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee in the crucial fixture against the Aussies, if the pitch at HPCA provides turn for the spinners, which would be an “icing on the cake” for the Kiwis. Also because the spin- trio of Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum who claimed 19 wickets in that match, and handed new Zealand victory by 47 runs. Till date both the teams have played 4 T20’s, and the first match was played in 2005, when Aussies won it by 45 runs. While, New Zealand won the only fixture in 2010 as Australia had an upper hand on the other occasions.

Australia can boast of their world cup performance to boost up their confidence for the much awaited fixture, and the black caps can gloat of their recent 2-1 victory over Australia only. The Aussies lost the series against the kiwis early this year, but bounced back against the Proteas in the T20 series, which will provide them a yardstick for a good performance in the crucial fixture. Their batting would bank upon Shane Watson, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and David Warner and at last but not the least the game changer, Glenn Maxwell and Marsh brothers who all have played in the IPL, and are familiar with the playing conditions in India. Their bowling attack could be led by Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, John Hastings and James Faulkner.

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