Cricket World Cup

Trans-Tasman rivals face off in highly-anticipated clash

New Zealand

New Zealand v Australia
Lord’s, London
2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Match 37
Saturday, 29 June; 13.30 local time, 12.30pm GMT

New Zealand suffered their first defeat of the tournament, when they were outclassed by a resurgent Pakistan in their previous clash by six wickets. While James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme impressed with a 132-run partnership for the sixth wicket in tough batting conditions at Edgbaston, the opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro failed once again.

With New Zealand looking to seal off a semi-final spot sooner rather than later, it wouldn’t be surprising if Kane Williamson and the team management ring in some changes in the playing XI.

Australia have once again proven why they are a team to be feared at ICC tournaments, having won six of their seven games and become the first and, so far, only team to confirm a spot in the semi finals. The opening pair of Aaron Finch and David Warner has been delivering consistently, with 996 runs between them. The bowlers, led by the ever-inspirational Mitchell Starc, haven’t allowed their opponents to get away, striking at crucial junctures on a consistent basis.

The only area of mild concern for the five-time champions is the form of their middle order, as they face a strong New Zealand bowling unit, led by a shrewd captain on Saturday.

Key Players

Martin Guptill (New Zealand): The New Zealand opener hasn’t been able to produce a performance of note after his stroke-filled 73* against Sri Lanka in his side’s opening game. Guptill, who scored an unbeaten century in his only outing at Lord’s, back in 2013, will look to find his rhythm back as the tournament enters a critical phase.

Mitchell Starc (Australia): The star left-arm pacer leads the wicket charts in this World Cup, much like he did in 2015, with 19 scalps. Starc, who registered a career-best 6/28 against New Zealand at Eden Park in the 2015 edition, and later took the crucial wicket of Brendon McCullum in the final, will once again be Aaron Finch’s key weapon.

Conditions

London will be dry and sunny, with no chances of precipitation and a bit of humidity. Teams batting first have won each of the last three ODIs at Lord’s, and both captains, considering their strong bowling attacks, will look to bat first and back themselves to defend a total.

Squads

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon

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